Text: Spark Hope

This June and July, your support will help grant wishes to children around the world and Spark Hope to help them through their treatment journey.

25

Every 25 seconds a child is diagnosed with a critical illness and becomes eligible for a wish, across Make-A-Wish Affiliate countries and territories.

1.25m

Research shows that approx. 1.25 million children become eligible for a wish every year, across Affiliate countries and territories. 

50

Make-A-Wish grants wishes in 50 countries around the world through 40 Make-A-Wish Affiliates.

The Impact of a Wish

When children are living with critical illness, so much of normal childhood is taken away from them — it is exhausting, both emotionally and physically. A wish is something that gives children the opportunity to look outside their illness — it restores a sense of childhood back to the child and normalcy back to the family.

Research shows, and physicians agree, wishes can help improve a child’s quality of life and produce better health outcomes. Members of the Make-A-Wish Medical Advisory Committee share the life-changing impact wishes have — beyond just medicine — on their patients and their families.

Andrea’s Wish

12-year-old Andrea from Italy wished to have a special bicycle

As a child who lost his father at an early age, and was diagnosed with a rare vascular disorder, Andrea’s life has been particularly difficult. Sturge-Weber Syndrome is an illness that limits movements and speech. It also required Andrea to undergo many operations, further depriving him of the autonomy that every boy his age should have. Andrea’s wish therefore was to have a bike with a built-in wheelchair that would allow him to speed around in the open air!

Andrea’s mom described the ‘overwhelming happiness’ she felt, finding out that her son’s wish would be granted, knowing how significant an impact it would have on her son’s life.

When a child is diagnosed with a critical illness, they lose so much; from the freedom to play outside with their friends, to the sense of endless possiblity that is so central to being a child.

 

Donate today to Spark Hope by helping to grant a wish to a child like Andrea.

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?

Make-A-Wish grants wishes to individuals who meet two preliminary criteria: (1) children who have reached the age of 3 and are under the age of 18, and (2) who have been diagnosed with a critical illness, i.e., a progressive, degenerative, or malignant medical condition that has placed the child’s life in jeopardy.
Although granting wishes to adults is not within the scope of our mission and we are unable to make any exceptions, there are other organizations that serve individuals over the age of 18. We encourage you to use a search engine to find an organization that provides similar services to adults. Make-A-Wish does not hold a contact list of such organizations and is not affiliated to any such entities.

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.

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, or economic status.

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

It is not easy to specify how long it takes from wish referral to wish fulfilment as it often depends upon the wish requested. In some situations a wish child may have to wait for their wish due to 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 much does a wish cost to grant?

As every wish is different, costs vary  depending on the wish. Whenever possible, Make-A-Wish seeks in-kind donations to help reduce 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, 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 doctor, a princess, a pirate, 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, cooking lessons at a renowned cooking institution or a shopping spree.
I wish to experience …
Many wish kids want to have an experience, such as feeling the sand in their feet, seeing snow for the first time.

How can I work or volunteer for Make-A-Wish?

Each Make-A-Wish Affiliate and chapter is independently incorporated in their territory and manages staffing and volunteering needs locally. The best way to proceed is to visit Make-A-Wish International Affiliate location map or Make-A-Wish America chapter search tool to review locations, identify the area that is most appealing and geographically convenient, then contact that Affiliate or chapter directly.

Are there work or volunteering opportunities available at Make-A-Wish International?

Open vacancies at Make-A-Wish International are published on our careers page. Please follow the page for latest updates and application procedures. We do not review and respond to generic applications sent to us via email or contact form. At this point in time Make-A-Wish International does not offer volunteering opportunities or internships. Thank you for your interest in our work.

Does Make-A-Wish provide funding, sponsorships or grants to individuals or organizations?

Make-A-Wish International is not a grant-giving organization and does not provide any funding to third-party organizations. Make-A-Wish International and our Affiliate network exist solely and exclusively to grant wishes for children with critical illnesses.
This means no grants, sponsorships, scholarships or other types of financial assistance are provided to third party organizations or individuals by Make-A-Wish International. We will not review or respond to such funding requests. This also applies to funding requests related to medical bills or care costs.
We hope that you can appreciate that our focus lies in delivering our core mission and we are unable to support causes that do not fully align with our focus.

I made a donation to Make-A-Wish International. Where is my receipt?

Our donation platform partner Donorbox generates tax receipts on behalf of Make-A-Wish International. Please check your email spam folder for a receipt from Donorbox. Alternatively, please email [email protected] if you are experiencing issues with your tax receipt stating your full name and the email address used to make the donation.

How can I make changes to my details or recurring donation amount?

You can update your contact details and make changes to your recurring donation amount via our official donation platform partner Donorbox by logging into your account.

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 2022, more than 80% of the funds raised by Make-A-Wish are used to fulfill our mission. Visit our Financial Information page to find out more about our exceptional donor stewardship.

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 also relies on in-kind contributions as well which help to lessen the cost of goods and services.

Can I donate stock?

Yes! You can donate stock here.

Can I donate crypto?

Yes! You can donate cryptocurrencies here.

Is there an affiliate near me?

To find a complete list of Make-A-Wish International Affiliates, visit the Around the World page.

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

We regret that it is not possible to grant wishes to children who reside in countries where Make-A-Wish does not yet have an affiliate; however, if your child is receiving medical treatment for an extended length of time in a country where there is a Make-A-Wish office, it may be possible to grant your child’s wish. To refer a child for a wish, please visit the Around the World page in the navigation or submit an inquiry via our Contact Form.

Is it possible to open a Make-A-Wish Affiliate in a new location?

Our vision is to grant the wish of every eligible child. Therefore, Make-A-Wish continuously explores and evaluates sustainable opportunities for reaching critically ill children in new geographical locations. Should you or someone you know be interested in opening an Affiliate in a country where there is currently none, please send us a message stating your interest via our Contact Form . Please outline your background and experience as well as the need in the relevant location. We will consider the proposal and how it aligns with our strategic plan and get in touch with you with further steps if appropriate. Please be advised that the process of setting up a new Affiliate is time and resource intense since our focus is on the long-term sustainability of the new Affiliate.

Wishes
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?
Make-A-Wish grants wishes to individuals who meet two preliminary criteria: (1) children who have reached the age of 3 and are under the age of 18, and (2) who have been diagnosed with a critical illness, i.e., a progressive, degenerative, or malignant medical condition that has placed the child’s life in jeopardy.
Although granting wishes to adults is not within the scope of our mission and we are unable to make any exceptions, there are other organizations that serve individuals over the age of 18. We encourage you to use a search engine to find an organization that provides similar services to adults. Make-A-Wish does not hold a contact list of such organizations and is not affiliated to any such entities.

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.

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, or economic status.

How long does it take to grant a wish from referral to fulfilment?
It is not easy to specify how long it takes from wish referral to wish fulfilment as it often depends upon the wish requested. In some situations a wish child may have to wait for their wish due to 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 much does a wish cost to grant?
Wish costs vary greatly depending on the wish requested. Some wishes are very simple, and wish goods or services may be donated, minimising the cost to Make-A-Wish. Other wishes can be very elaborate and cost thousands of dollars. Whenever possible, Make-A-Wish seeks in-kind donations to help reduce 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, 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 doctor, a princess, a pirate, 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, cooking lessons at a renowned cooking institution or a shopping spree.
I wish to experience …
Many wish kids want to have an experience, such as feeling the sand in their feet, seeing snow for the first time.

Volunteers / Careers
How can I work or volunteer for Make-A-Wish?
Each Make-A-Wish Affiliate and chapter is independently incorporated in their territory and manages staffing and volunteering needs locally. The best way to proceed is to visit Make-A-Wish International Affiliate location map or Make-A-Wish America chapter search tool to review locations, identify the area that is most appealing and geographically convenient, then contact that Affiliate or chapter directly.

Are there work or volunteering opportunities available at Make-A-Wish International?
Open vacancies at Make-A-Wish International are published on our careers page. Please follow the page for latest updates and application procedures. We do not review and respond to generic applications sent to us via email or contact form. At this point in time Make-A-Wish International does not offer volunteering opportunities or internships. Thank you for your interest in our work.

Funding & Grants

Does Make-A-Wish provide funding, sponsorships or grants to individuals or organizations?
Make-A-Wish International is not a grant-giving organization and does not provide any funding to third-party organizations. Make-A-Wish International and our Affiliate network exist solely and exclusively to grant wishes for children with critical illnesses.
This means no grants, sponsorships, scholarships or other types of financial assistance are provided to third party organizations or individuals by Make-A-Wish International. We will not review or respond to such funding requests. This also applies to funding requests related to medical bills or care costs. We hope that you can appreciate that our focus lies in delivering our core mission and we are unable to support causes that do not fully align with our focus.

Donations & Fundraising
I made a donation to Make-A-Wish International. Where is my receipt?
Our donation platform partner Donorbox generates tax receipts on behalf of Make-A-Wish International. Please check your email spam folder for a receipt from Donorbox. Alternatively, please email [email protected] if you are experiencing issues with your tax receipt stating your full name and the email address used to make the donation.

How can I make changes to my details or recurring donation amount?
You can update your contact details and make changes to your recurring donation amount via our official donation platform partner Donorbox by logging into your account here.

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 2022, more than 80% of the funds raised by Make-A-Wish are used to fulfill our mission. Visit our Financial Information page to find out more about our exceptional donor stewardship.

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 also relies on in-kind contributions as well which help to lessen the cost of goods and services.

Worldwide

Is there an affiliate near me?

To find a complete list of Make-A-Wish International Affiliates, visit the Around the World page.

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

We regret that it is not possible to grant wishes to children who reside in countries where Make-A-Wish does not yet have an affiliate; however, if your child is receiving medical treatment for an extended length of time in a country where there is a Make-A-Wish office, it may be possible to grant your child’s wish. To refer a child for a wish, please visit the Around the World page in the navigation or submit an inquiry via our Contact Form.

Is it possible to open a Make-A-Wish Affiliate in a new location?

Our vision is to grant the wish of every eligible child. Therefore, Make-A-Wish continuously explores and evaluates sustainable opportunities for reaching critically ill children in new geographical locations. Should you or someone you know be interested in opening an Affiliate in a country where there is currently none, please send us a message stating your interest via our Contact Form. Please outline your background and experience as well as the need in the relevant location. We will consider the proposal and how it aligns with our strategic plan and get in touch with you with further steps if appropriate. Please be advised that the process of setting up a new Affiliate is time and resource intense since our focus is on the long-term sustainability of the new Affiliate.

More Wish Stories

I Wish To Travel In A Campervan

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Carola had always been a cheerful girl who excelled at school and also in sports. But everything changed when she was 14 years old and she was diagnosed with a terrible genetic disease…

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I Wish To Have Fairy Wings And Fly

I Wish To Have Fairy Wings And Fly

Lilah became sick at just 2 years old and as she got progressively weaker, her mum just knew something was wrong. After extensive doctor’s visits and tests, she was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia…

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