Wish Nation

Four Things to Know About Referring a Wish Kid

Miles saves San Francisco. <em>Photo courtesy of Make-A-Wish/Paul Sakuma</em>
What if there was a “Wish Kid” signal in every community? Every time a kid was diagnosed with a life-threatening medical condition, someone would shine a light in the sky to alert the superheroes at the nearest Make-A-Wish chapter. As cool as that sounds, it doesn’t work that way.

There’s also no Wishmobile, unless my co-workers are holding out on me (yes, I’d want to drive ... and I'd accept nominations for my sidekick).

Here are four things you need to know about how a kid with a life-threatening medical condition becomes a Make-A-Wish kid:

  • We don’t actively seek wish kids. You won’t see Make-A-Wish staff members patrolling clinics and hospitals. Why not? Well, out of respect for privacy. Finding out your child has a life-threatening medical condition is a stressful, confusing, surreal point in time. And it’s just not our place to intrude as families come to terms with the situation. We wait for families or medical professionals to seek us when the time is right.
  • We only accept referrals from four sources: a child’s parents or guardians; the medical professionals treating the child; the child who is diagnosed; or a family member who has detailed information about the child's condition and treatment. Again, it comes back to privacy. The kids, the families and their needs – medical and emotional – always come first.
  • If you’re a caring schoolteacher or neighbor of a child who may be eligible, you can still help: Talk to the parents. Tell them all about Make-A-Wish and how we change the lives of kids, families and communities. Give them the information to contact their chapter or international affiliate. Better yet, share our online referral inquiry form with them.
  • Remember that the wish experience is not up to the person making the referral. In other words, it’s not “I’d like to refer my child for a trip to Hawaii.” The child drives the entire process. The wish-granting teams help kids explore their imaginations to create an experience that is meaningful to them … that will change their lives. No matter how closely parents and their kids bond, sometimes there is a previously unspoken wish in their hearts. That is the wish we must turn into reality. That is the wish that can be the X factor that turns the tide.

You can learn even more on our Refer a Child page


About this Blog

Wish Nation gives you a behind-the-scenes look at Make-A-Wish®. See how wishes come together and how they change lives forever. Hear directly from those who work or volunteer here, or those who have been transformed by a wish. And learn why we are so committed to someday granting the wish of every eligible child, every year.

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