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Frequently Asked Questions

Click on a question to see the answer.

Do you participate in chain letter or other direct solicitation wishes?

No. Each day, Make-A-Wish® and its chapters receive hundreds of inquiries about chain letters claiming to be associated with the Foundation and featuring sick children. However, we do not participate in these kinds of wishes. Some names associated with these wishes are: Amy Bruce, Jeff DeLeon, Rhyan Desquetado, LaNisha Jackson, Nikisha Johnson, Jessie Anderson, Kayla Wightman, Craig Shergold, Craig Sheldon, Craig Sheppard, Craig Shelton, Craig Shelford, Anthony Hebrank, Chad Briody and Bryan Warner.

Learn more by visiting our chain letters page.

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Who can receive a wish?

The mission of Make-A-Wish is to grant the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions to enrich the human experience with hope, strength and joy. Children who have reached the age of 2½ and are under the age of 18 must be referred to the Foundation and determined to be medically eligible for a wish by their physician. The child's treating physician makes the final determination of whether a child's medical condition qualifies him or her for a wish.

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Does a child's condition have to be terminal to qualify for a wish?

No. Many of the children who qualify for a wish go on to lead healthy lives. We grant the wishes of medically eligible children (i.e., those diagnosed with life-threatening medical conditions — a progressive, degenerative or malignant condition that has placed the child's life in jeopardy).

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Are there any restrictions on a wish?

Each Make-A-Wish chapter follows specific policies and guidelines for granting a child's wish. The physician also plays a major role in determining whether the child's condition will permit a particular wish to be coordinated safely. Make-A-Wish staff members work closely with the wish child's physician to determine the most appropriate time to grant the wish, keeping in mind the child's treatment protocol or other concerns.

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Does the family have to pay for the wish?

No. All wish expenses are fully covered, including all travel and spending money when appropriate. Make-A-Wish's objective is to create a memorable wish experience for both the child and family that is not clouded by financial concerns.

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How much does granting a wish cost?

The cost associated with coordinating a wish varies depending on the type of wish, but as of March 2012, the average cost of a wish was $7,500.

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Does the wish family have to meet income qualifications before a child can receive a wish?

No. Family income is not a consideration in determining whether a child is eligible to receive a wish.

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What are the most requested wishes?

Most wish requests fall into four major categories:

  • I wish to go:
    Some wish kids want to travel to their favorite theme park, while others want to visit an exotic beach, go on a cruise, see snow for the first time, or attend a major sporting event or concert.
  • I wish to be:
    Children search the depths of their imagination when they wish to be someone for a day — a firefighter, a police officer or a model.
  • I wish to meet:
    Many want to meet their favorite athlete, recording artist, television personality, movie star, politician or public figure.
  • I wish to have:
    Children often wish for a special gift, such as a computer, a tree house, a shopping spree or something that they have coveted for a long time.

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Do you grant wishes to adults?

No. Make-A-Wish only grants wishes to children who have been referred to the organization and determined to be eligible for a wish before their 18th birthday by their physician. However, there are other wish-granting organizations that grant wishes to adults.

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Does Make-A-Wish accept vehicle donations?

If you have a vehicle you would like to donate, please contact your local chapter. Policies for accepting vehicle donations vary from chapter to chapter.

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What are your sources of funding?

Make-A-Wish America finances its work through individual contributions, corporate donations, foundation grants, planned gifts, and chapter fees and assessments. Make-A-Wish relies on in-kind contributions to lessen the cost of goods and services. Local chapters are funded in much the same way and also rely on special events and in-kind donations. Make-A-Wish does not solicit contributions over the phone or door-to-door.

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Does Make-A-Wish telemarket?

Make-A-Wish does not, under any circumstances, engage telemarketers to raise money, despite sometimes being confused with other organizations that do. In fact, Make-A-Wish has a nationwide policy against telephone and door-to-door solicitation. There are a number of other sound-alike organizations — some also with "wish" in their names. Make-A-Wish has no affiliation with any other wish-granting organization. If you receive a call from someone asking for a donation, ask the caller to send you more information.

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Is my financial contribution tax deductible?

Yes. Make-A-Wish America is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization. As such, financial contributions may be deductible for federal income tax purposes. Please consult with your financial adviser to determine the extent of tax deductibility. Since fiscal year 2003, Make-A-Wish's financial statements are audited by Grant Thornton LLP. View the Foundation's most recent annual report with accompanying financial statements.

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Contact Make-A-Wish America

 Mailing Address:
 4742 N. 24th St.
   Suite 400
   Phoenix, AZ 85016
 Phone:  602-279-9474
 Fax:  602-279-0855
 Toll Free:
 800-722-9474