I’m sure you have heard of the Make-A-Wish® foundation but do you really know the whole story behind it? I will be honest, I didn’t until I got this opportunity to actually work with them to spread the news.
Make-A-Wish is one of the nation’s leading children’s charities, serving children in every community in the United States and its territories. With the help of generous donors and more than 25,000 volunteers, Make-A-Wish grants a wish somewhere in the country every 38 minutes. It has granted more than 226,000 wishes in the U.S. since its inception in 1980; nearly 14,000 in 2012 alone.
30 years ago, a 7-year-old boy received his heartfelt wish to be a police officer for a day. That one wish inspired the founding of Make-A-Wish and launched the wish granting movement that circles the globe today. Beginning April 1 and culminating with World Wish Day® on April 29, Make-A-Wish is conducting a nationwide campaign to raise dollars and airline miles to fund airline tickets for wishes that involve travel.
Last year alone, Make-A-Wish granted nearly 14,000 life-changing wishes for children with life-threatening medical conditions. These wish experiences can be pivot points in the course of a child’s treatment, making them feel better and in some cases, even help them get better. A wish-come-true brings hope, strengthens families, provides moments of happiness and inspiration, and helps create strong community bonds.
Nearly 75 percent of wishes require air travel, making it a critical – and costly – resource. In fact, approximately 50,000 airline tickets, the equivalent of 2.5 billion airlines miles or $37.5 million, would be needed each year to cover the cost associated with sending wish kids and their families to and from these incredible experiences.
Help us grant more wishes that change the lives of wish kids, their families, and everyone touched by a wish, forever. You can donate frequent flier miles or dollars at wish.org/tickets and help wish kids take flight.
As an added incentive, WWE® Superstar John Cena® will personally match every frequent flier mile donated in April, up to 4.5 million. WWE will also leverage its wide array of assets – TV, digital, social media and live events – to help to promote World Wish Day to its 143 million social media fans and 13 million weekly viewers in the United States. United Airlines will also support World Wish Day by matching the donations of its MileagePlus® members, up to 3 million miles, through April 30.
Several other Make-A-Wish sponsors are coordinating special World Wish Day promotions, including Maggiano’s Little Italy®, Marquis®, Brooks Brothers, and Dave & Buster’s. The month will culminate with the announcement of a new, national sponsor.
According to a 2011 U.S. study of wish impact, most health professionals surveyed believe a wish-come-true can influence the physical health of wish kids. Kids say wishes give them renewed strength to fight their illnesses, and their parents say these experiences help strengthen the entire family.
Parents and health professionals alike describe the wish experience as a frequent turning point in wish kids’ battles for health.
April 29 is #WorldWishDay Help us grant wishes that change the lives of wish kids by donating to the Make-A-Wish Donation Page.
This year, 10,000 wish kids and their families will travel for a Make-A-Wish® experience. That’s 50,000 roundtrip tickets or 2.5 billion frequent flier miles. In honor of World Wish Day®, the day of the wish that inspired the founding of Make-A-Wish, visit wish.org/tickets and donate miles and dollars – and help wish kids take flight.
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Make-A-Wish®. The opinions and text are all mine.