The Make-A-Wish Foundation of America's mission is to grant the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions. The charitable organization grants wishes to ailing kids between the ages of two-and-a-half and 18 from more than 60 chapters in the US and its territories. Funded through donations, in-kind contributions, grants, chapter fees, and corporate donations, the not-for-profit foundation boasts a volunteer network of some 25,000 people and has granted more than 200,000 wishes to children since its creation in 1980. The foundation was originally named the Chris Greicius Make-A-Wish Memorial, after the first boy to receive his wish: becoming an honorary Arizona state trooper.
More wishes were granted in fiscal year 2010 than in any other year in the organization's history: 13,580 wishes in all. The foundation estimates that each wish costs it approximately $7,200. Typically, children wish to visit a theme park (Disneyland is a popular choice) and travel, shop for something such as a new computer or electronics, and visit with a pro athlete or other celebrity. The Walt Disney Company and Macys are the largest corporate sponsors of Make-A-Wish Foundation.
The organization works with more than 35 international affiliates to grant wishes across the globe through about 30,000 volunteers. – less