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General Wish Facts

General Wish Facts

Wishes matter – and not just for kids with life-threatening medical conditions. Every wish has the potential to positively impact kids, families and even entire communities. Here are some facts that speak to the change that Make-A-Wish® supporters have created in the world:

  • Make-A-Wish grants a wish, on average, every 34 minutes.
  • Since 1980, more than 285,000 children in the United States and its territories have had their wishes granted by Make-A-Wish supporters.
  • Every wish experience is driven by the wish kid’s interests, creativity and personality.
  • In fiscal year 2016, Make-A-Wish granted more than 15,300 wishes, the most ever in its more than its history.
  • To qualify for a wish, a child with a life-threatening medical condition must be older than 2½ years and younger than 18 (at the time of referral) and must not have received a wish from another wish-granting organization.
  • A child can be referred by a parent or guardian, a healthcare professional, or by the child.
  • Following referral, a certified medical professional must verify that the child has a life-threatening medical condition. There are no other qualifications based on sex, race, religion, socioeconomic status or any other demographic category.
  • Make-A-Wish chapters serve every community in the United States and its territories.
  • Make-A-Wish has more than 33,000 active volunteers in the United States.
  • Make-A-Wish needs more than 2.5 billion frequent flier miles each year to cover the cost of wish travel for wish kids and their families.
  • Nearly 75 percent of wish experiences involve travel.
  • The Walt Disney Company is involved in approximately half of the wishes Make-A-Wish grants.

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WHO CAN REFER A CHILD?

Make-A-Wish accepts referrals from:

  • Children being treated for a life-threatening medical condition
  • Parents or legal guardians
  • Medical professionals (typically a doctor, nurse, social worker or child-life specialist)
  • Family members with detailed knowledge of the child's medical condition

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