NEWS: Sunshine Wheels continues to add new clients. Welcome MeadowBrook of Granby and the Governor’s House in Simsbury!

Giving Back….Making a Difference

Sunshine Wheels would like to thank the Farmington Bank Community Foundation for the extremely generous grant of $25,000!  Their financial contribution has allowed us to purchase a new wheelchair accessible van.  We are beyond grateful for the Farmington Bank Community Foundation as well as other organizations that have continued to support New Horizons’ important initiative.  We could not do it without you!



Features of the Vans

Sunshine Wheels has the highest standard of quality when it comes to vehicles.  We take great pride in our fleet! All of the Sunshine Wheels vehicles have unique comfort and safety features. Each of our vans have wide clear lift platforms, large windows for views of the road and great lighting for nighttime rides. Our vans have seat belt mechanisms which are 4-point tie downs with a lap and shoulder belt. Also, each van is equipped with safety features like seat belt cutters and fire extinguishers.

The interior is very spacious and there is plenty of room for passengers to turn around in their wheelchairs. Each of our vans fit at least two wheelchairs and has several additional seats.

The exterior is equipped with high quality tires for all seasons. The vans are serviced and always in great working condition. We also have lowered steps to get into the van for our ambulatory customers. Sunshine Wheels is proud to provide superior vehicles to the clients that we serve!

Meet The Dispatcher

How long have you been working for the company?
In 2013, I started working at New Horizons as a full time driver. I moved to my new position as a dispatcher for New Horizons and Sunshine Wheels on August 26th of this year.


What is it like being a dispatcher for Sunshine Wheels?
Basically it’s like a huge puzzle, trying to fit together all the pieces of who should be where and at what times, and also knowing where all of your drivers are. The schedule goes hand in hand to help me keep track.  It keeps me on my toes and always alert for when and if something else comes up.


What experience have you had previously that helps you with dispatching?
Well, working as a driver for over 5 years with the company, has taught me the ins and outs of how long it takes to get from points A to B, the locations we frequent, and the residents that frequent them. Knowing all of this helps with the scheduling, being more efficient, and being aware of the surroundings, to make it an enjoyable ride for each and every rider.


What is something you enjoy doing, outside of work?
I love spending time with my family. We are big sports fans. We enjoy watching and playing football and baseball. We also love to hike and take little mini vacations to somewhere new every year.


A quote you stand by?
“Live everyday like it’s your last.”


Sunshine Wheels Puts Compassion and Respect at the Forefront.

There are two (2) principles in which Sunshine Wheels abides by and it makes a world of difference.  It is tough enough to gear up for a medical appointment or procedure but Sunshine Wheels helps ease all of that with compassion and respect.  We certainly don’t want you to be worried about getting to your appointments.


Our drivers are committed to treating those with disabilities with compassion, empathy, sensitivity, friendliness, patience, and kindness.  Actually we treat all people that way.  Sunshine Wheels’ drivers are committed to being respectful and to handle each rider’s uniqueness and situation with care.  Life is tough enough at times.  Sunshine Wheels is here to make your ride to medical appointments less stressful, hoping you will feel relaxed and put you at ease by not having to be concerned about the drive to and from.

Our smiles are free ….. your smiles are priceless.


Written By:  Carol Kirkwood, Village Manager

Thoughts From a Board Member

I serve on the volunteer board of New Horizons, Inc., which is the “parent company” of Sunshine Wheels. We heard about the lack of reliable transportation for medical appointments. Some of the stories we heard sounded very inconvenient, but others were downright dangerous and scary. Something had to be done!

We’re so proud of Sunshine Wheels. It comes from New Horizons Inc.’s decades of experience providing transportation to folks with wheelchairs or with other special transportation needs. Just a few months in, Sunshine Wheels is already offering top-notch service and reliability. And we will continue to get better and learn from our mistakes because our priority is giving our riders safe and reliable transportation to their important appointments. Please let us know how we’re doing!


Chris Girard

Passenger Spotlight: Marissa

Name: Marissa

Place of Residence: Unionville, CT

What are your hobbies?

I like to read and listen to music by Tim McGraw, Luke Bryan, Cole Swindell and numerous other musicians.

Do you have a preferred transportation provider?

Yes, I use Sunshine Wheels.

Have you been positively impacted by Sunshine Wheels?  If so, how?

Overall, I have had and continue to have a positive experience with Sunshine Wheels.  It is a great medical transportation provider!  I already know all of the drivers and they always get me to my appointments on time.  Because I use Sunshine Wheels, I no longer have a fear about being left at an appointment without a way to get home.  This has been a common occurrence with other transportation providers.

What makes Sunshine Wheels better than other transportation providers?

What makes Sunshine Wheels better than other providers I have used in the past is that they get me to and from my appointments in a timely manner.  There have been numerous horror stories about service issues with other transportation options.

Employee Spotlight: Meet A Driver

Name: Mike Donaghey

How long have you been driving for Sunshine Wheels?
I started working as a part-time employee a few months ago.  My usual hours are 8-1 and sometimes I work longer than that.

What aspects of your job do you enjoy most?
I enjoy helping the residents and providing them with safe and reliable transportation to and from their appointments. Residents trust our ability to get them to their destinations in a timely manner. Working with my wonderful Sunshine Wheels co-workers has also been a great pleasure of mine.

Have you had any previous experience working in this industry?
I’ve worked at Newington High School with students with disabilities at a Transitional Program. The program prepares the students for the job industry. It helps them land jobs in a field of interest after graduation.

What is something you enjoy doing outside of work?
I am a musician. I play guitar, drums, bass, and keyboard.

What are some of your plans for the future?
I plan on doing some traveling. I will be going to Italy and Spain in the near future.

A quote you stand by:
“The best way to cheer yourself up is to try to cheer somebody else up.”

Providing Solutions

Summer has brought sunshine to New Horizons Village – Sunshine Wheels has been rolled out!

Sunshine Wheels is New Horizons’ answer to the unacceptable transportation that our residents have received over the past year for non-emergency medical transportation.  Sunshine Wheels is now transporting New Horizons Village and Cherry Brook residents to and from their doctor’s appointments.

We are the first non-profit vendor that provides this type of transportation through Veyo for State of Connecticut Medicaid recipients.  This service is aligned with the mission of New Horizons in supporting independent living.  Customer service is of the utmost importance and the customer satisfaction feedback has been excellent!

Thanks to the hard work and support of the Board of Directors, Transportation Department Staff, Health Services Office and our Management Team, the success of this Social Enterprise Initiative has surpassed our expectations at this point in time.  New Horizons listened to the transportation problems and quickly worked to become part of the SOLUTION.

A very special thank you to The Hartford Foundation for Public Giving’s Nonprofit Support Program for their financial support and for providing consulting resources.  Those beautiful new vans with the Sunshine Wheels logo proudly displayed are the result of many generous donations.

Enjoy the beautiful summer season and rest assured that Sunshine Wheels is committed to providing each and every customer with reliable and safe transportation to their medical appointments.



Carol A. Fitzgerald

Chief Executive Officer

  • 1
  • 2