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Make-A-Wish: What the Foundation Does

Childhood can be challenging for various reasons, even if you didn’t have the best one. However, most people can recall happier times and smile, even if their childhood wasn’t perfect. Childhood has numerous benefits, particularly if it is a happy one. Going from a preschooler to a teenager in such a short period is no easy feat. There are so many changes happening simultaneously, both physically and mentally, that it can be difficult for anyone, let alone a child experiencing these changes for the first time. Fortunately, for children dealing with a range of challenging circumstances, there is the Make-A-Wish Foundation, a nonprofit children’s wish-granting organization that provides these children with a little extra support to help them through their difficult time.

About the Foundation

The Make-A-Wish Foundation is a nonprofit organization that grants wishes to children with incurable illnesses. Since its founding in 1980 by two parents whose child died from an incurable disease, the Make-A-Wish Foundation has helped millions of children in the United States and 17 other countries. Since its inception in 1980, the Make-A-Wish Foundation has granted over 348,000 wishes in the United States alone. To be eligible for a wish, the child must be between the ages of two and 18 and suffer from a life-threatening illness that can be diagnosed by a doctor. Furthermore, the Make-A-Wish Foundation has specific guidelines to determine which patients are in the most urgent need of a wish. Depending on their health status, the doctor may not be able to offer the services of the Make-A-Wish Foundation to certain patients.


The Make-A-Wish Foundation was founded in 1980 by Sam and Norma Wishes of Phoenix, Arizona, in response to a nurse’s suggestion to allow a child with leukemia to express a wish. When the child’s wish to sit in the VIP box at the Arizona State University football team’s game was granted, it strengthened the child’s will to live, promoted his health, and he became healthy again. After this experience, the Wishes began to consider how they could help other children experience the same joy. They discussed the concept with a friend who was a lawyer, who said, “You don’t want to ask for a doll, you want to grant a wish.” The Make-A-Wish Foundation’s website explains how the donation process works.