Frequently Asked Questions


Who can receive a wish?

Children who are at least 3 years of age, but have not yet reached their 18th birthday, may be referred to Make-A-Wish International. A child's treating physician will determine if the child is medically eligible for a wish, based on the medical criteria established by Make-A-Wish.

Do you grant wishes to adults?

No, Make-A-Wish International only grants wishes to children who are at least 3 years of age, but have not yet reached their 18th birthday at the time of referral.

Does a child's illness have to be terminal in order to qualify for a wish?

No, a child does not have to be terminally ill. In fact, many of our wish children grow into adulthood and lead healthy, happy lives.

Can a child receive more than one wish?

No, Make-A-Wish International grants one wish to each eligible child.

Are there any restrictions to a wish?

Each Make-A-Wish affiliate follows specific policies and guidelines for granting a child's wish. Some wishes have restrictions based on various factors, including the child's medical condition in relation to the wish request. Make-A-Wish takes into consideration all factors as they relate to the wish and the wish child, and then plans the wish accordingly. Visit the Countries tab at the top of your screen to learn more about restrictions in your area, by selecting your country.

Does the family have to pay for the wish?

No, all wish expenses are fully covered by Make-A-Wish. Wishes are arranged and paid for by Make-A-Wish with no out-of-pocket expenses for the wish family.

Does the family have to meet financial criteria in order to be eligible for their child to receive a wish?

No, Make-A-Wish grants wishes to children who qualify for our services without regard to race, creed, religion, sex, economic status, or national origin.

Is there a waiting list to receive a wish?

No, however, in some situations a wish child may have to wait for their wish due to external circumstances such as the child's treatment schedule or the availability of a popular celebrity. If the fulfillment of a wish must be delayed for any reason, the wish child and family are fully informed, and the wish child is given the option to either make another wish request or wait.

How long does it take to grant a wish from referral to fulfillment?

In most cases wishes are fulfilled within a few weeks. However, it is not easy to specify how long it takes from wish referral to wish fulfillment as it often depends upon the wish requested. In some circumstances, wishes can be fulfilled in a matter of hours or days, while in other cases, it can take months.

How much does a wish cost to grant?

Wish costs vary greatly depending on the wish requested. Some wishes are very simple, and the wish goods or services may be donated, costing Make-A-Wish nothing. Other wishes can be very elaborate and cost thousands of dollars. Whenever possible, Make-A-Wish seeks in-kind donations to help defer wish expenses.

What are the most requested wishes?
Typically, wishes fall into one of five general categories.
 
I wish to go …
Some Make-A-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 fireman, a police officer, a model or a superhero.
 
I wish to meet …
Many wish kids choose to meet their favorite athlete, recording artist, television personality, movie star, politician or other public figure.
 
I wish to have …
Children sometimes wish for a special gift, such as a computer, a tree house, a shopping spree or something they have wanted for a long time.
 
I wish to give …
Some wish kids use their wish to make the world better – raising funds, helping improve their school or celebrating a holiday for their family are just a few of the ways wish kids have helped others.
What are your sources of funding?

Make-A-Wish International and its affiliates receive financial support from a number of sources. Contributions come from individuals, corporations, and private and foundation grants. Make-A-Wish relies on in-kind contributions as well which help to lessen the cost of goods and services.

How much of my donation funds wishes?

Make-A-Wish International is proud of the manner in which it manages the generous donations of its supporters. In 2013, more than 86% of the funds raised by Make-A-Wish are used to fulfill our mission. Visit our Financial Information section to see more of our exceptional donor stewardship.

Is there an affiliate near me?

To find the affiliate closest to you, visit the Countries tab at the top of your screen.

What if there is not an affiliate in my country? Can my child still request a wish?

It is possible to grant wishes to children who reside in countries where Make-A-Wish does not yet have an affiliate; however, depending upon the wish requested and the volunteer resources in the child's country, it is sometimes not possible to fulfill these wishes. To refer a child for a wish, please visit the Countries tab at the top of your screen or submit an inquiry via our Contact Form.

How do you decide which children receive wishes?

Make-A-Wish does not decide which children receive wishes. Every child referred to Make-A-Wish who is deemed eligible for a wish receives their wish.

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.