Our Mission

Why we started this organization…

This January 2003 the world lost a giving, passionate person who believed she could make a difference in the world, to a random act of violence. She meant so much to her family and friends that the loss leaves an immeasurable hole in our lives and our future. The outcry in the community about losing her was so amazing that we started to realize how much of an impact she had already made in her world. She was an occupational therapist by career choice and worked through the Albuquerque Public Schools with developmentally disabled children. Carolyn really enjoyed these children and her gift with them was obvious to all who watched their interaction. We started this non-profit because my sister was a fierce advocate for the underdog and because she honestly believed that she could make a difference. Through this organization we want to honor my sister’s memory by continuing to pursue her causes with the same passion she exhibited in living her life. We feel the best way to heal is to focus and how Carolyn lived not how she was taken.
-Beth Thurman


We have developed a non-profit organization in honor of our dear friend, co-worker and family member, Carolyn Thurman-Rustvold. Carolyn pursued life with a passion. She followed a career path as an occupational therapist in order to make a difference in the world and better the lives of children and adults with special needs. Without a doubt, Carolyn’s compassion and kindness towards others is an inspiration to all. Our goal, as and organization, is to carry on her passion and together make just as big an impact in this world as she would have made if she had been able to continue.

We began offering a camp in the summer of 2004 that offered therapy to children with special needs. The participants in the camp are both students and their parents in order to create long lasting change and impact. We also offer scholarships, throughout the year, for children who would benefit from private therapy. The professionals involved are special education teachers, speech language pathologists, physical and occupational therapists.


The Volunteers and Family of Carolyn’s Causes “The Sunflower Team”