PHOENIX (October 31, 2014) – Make-A-Wish announced Friday, the organization recently celebrated an incredible milestone, having granted 250,000 wishes in the United States since the children’s charity was founded in 1980. This homegrown, American wish-granting movement – started in Phoenix, Ariz. – has spread around the globe to nearly 50 countries making it the largest wish granting organization in the world. In fact Make-A-Wish has granted more than 334,000 wishes worldwide, a quarter million of them in the U.S and its territories.
“The impact Make-A-Wish has had on the lives of children around the U.S. and around the world is immeasurable,” said David Williams, president and CEO of Make-A-Wish America. “We know that a wish-come-true can make wish kids feel better, and in some cases, get better as they battle life-threatening medical conditions.”
Entirely funded through private donations by individuals and corporate sponsors, Make-A-Wish grants more than 14,000 wishes each year through 61 chapters across the U.S. Chapters rely on volunteer and donor support and other resources to plan and create life-changing experiences.
And wishes know no boundaries. They have included some of America’s most beloved celebrities and athletes; favorite sporting events and television shows; and iconic destinations. Take for example nine-year old Gabriel from Gainesville, Florida who wished to become a U.S. National Park Ranger at one of the most prestigious parks in the United States, Yosemite National Park. Watch his video here. Or 9-year-old Addy who wished to star in her own music video. Wishes can be simple, but very powerful, like 6-year-old Patrick who wished to be a worker in a pickle factory. Or Natalia who wished to create a soup to serve to the homeless (the list of wishes is long).
“We’re not stopping at 250,000 because there are so many more wishes to grant. In fact, estimates show that on average, 74 children are diagnosed with a life-threatening medical condition every day,” Williams said. “Right now, we are able to grant the wishes of only half of those kids. And it’s only through public support that we’ll be able to grant the one, true wish of every eligible child.”
To learn more about the history of Make-A-Wish, including the story of Chris Greicius, the young boy whose wish to be a police officer in 1980 inspired the creation of the charity, visit wish.org/about-us. To find out how to help grant additional wishes or become involved with Make-A-Wish, visit wish.org/ways-to-help.
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Make-A-Wish grants the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions to enrich the human experience with hope, strength and joy. According to a 2011 U.S. study of wish impact, most health professionals surveyed believe a wish-come-true has positive impacts on the health of children. Kids say wishes give them renewed strength to fight their illness, and their parents say these experiences help strengthen the entire family. Headquartered in Phoenix, Make-A-Wish is one of the world's leading children's charities, serving children in every community in the United States and its territories. With the help of generous donors and more than 25,000 volunteers, Make-A-Wish grants a wish somewhere in the country every 38 minutes. It has granted more than 254,000 wishes since its inception in 1980; more than 14,000 in 2013 alone. Visit Make-A-Wish at www.wish.org to learn more.