The Issue: Benefits of Wish Granting
Granting wishes for children with life-threatening medical conditions isn’t just about helping them achieve their dreams—it touches the lives of everyone involved. For kids, seeing their wishes come to life can make undergoing extensive medical treatment easier; it can help parents remember how to be optimistic; and it can help the volunteers who granted the wish discover the joys of philanthropy. This year, according to Make-A-Wish Arizona, a projected 542 Arizona children will be diagnosed with a life-threatening medical condition, but granting their wishes can make their futures a little brighter.
The Campaign: Granting Children’s Wishes
All donations to this Grassroots campaign will be used by Make-A-Wish Arizona to grant wishes for children with life-threatening medical conditions. Every $10 raised contributes to the granting of a wish for one child in Arizona. Last year, the organization granted 317 wishes—a record for the chapter—building backyard playhouses, helping kids meet their favorite sports celebrities, and sending them to Alaska to see the northern lights.
For another way to help grant children’s wishes, visit the Gelato Spot throughout August. The 2nd Annual Gelato competition will grant a winning chef a $5,000 check presented on their behalf to Make-A-Wish Arizona. Click here to learn more and view our featured Gelato Spot deal.
The very first wish was granted for seven-year-old Chris Greicius in the spring of 1980. Although he'd been diagnosed with life-threatening leukemia, what he wanted more than anything else was "to catch bad guys" with US Customs Agent Tommy Austin. With the help of the Department of Public Safety and several officers, Chris got to live his wish—he received a "Smokey Bear" hat, a uniform, and a badge, and became Arizona's first and only honorary DPS officer. After he passed, the officers who helped make Chris's dream come true got together to form Make-A-Wish Arizona, the founding chapter of an organization that would eventually expand to more than 50 countries around the world.
More than 4,700 wishes later, the Arizona chapter of Make-A-Wish is still going strong. Across the state, 600 volunteers grant wishes for kids ranging in age from 2.5 years to 18 years, all of whom have been diagnosed with a life-threatening medical condition. Volunteers meet with the kids, their siblings, and parents and help them formulate a wish. In the past, children have wished for everything from becoming a wild animal tamer to marrying Tinkerbell to giving their mom her dream wedding, but a commonality runs through each: a granted wish helps spread joy.