Q: What is Make-A-Wish’s mission?
A: The mission of Make-A-Wish® Southern Florida is to grant the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions to enrich the human experience with hope, strength and joy.
Q: How is the Make-A-Wish Foundation structured?
A: There are 61 Make-A-Wish chapters covering the United States and 39 affiliates of Make-A-Wish Foundation International. The Southern Florida chapter serves the children of Broward, Collier, Glades, Hendry, Highlands, Indian River, Lee, Martin, Miami-Dade, Monroe, Okeechobee, Palm Beach and St. Lucie counties in the United States plus children in the US Virgin Islands. Our biggest cities include Miami, Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach, Stuart, Port St. Lucie, Vero Beach, Fort Pierce, Key West, Naples and Fort Myers.
Q: What’s the history of the organization?
A: In 1980, Christopher Greicius, a young boy from Phoenix, Arizona, wished to be an Arizona State Trooper for a day. Chris’ magical wish was fulfilled when the Arizona Department of Public Safety arrived by helicopter to pick him up, take him for a cool “ride” around the city, fit him with his own uniform and swear him in as an honorary State Trooper. Since Chris’ wish was granted, we haven’t stopped! More than 230,000 wishes have been granted by Make-A-Wish chapters. The Southern Florida chapter was founded in 1983.
Q: How many wishes does the Southern Florida chapter grant?
A: This past year, we granted the wishes of 539 Southern Florida children and have granted more than 10,000 wishes in our history.
Q: Who is eligible to receive a wish?
A: Wish children can be referred by their doctors, social workers, other health care professionals, family members or even themselves! Once we receive a referral, we contact the child’s physician to verify eligibility. Each wish child MUST: be between the ages of 2 1/2 and 18, be diagnosed with a life-threatening medical condition, live or be treated in one of the counties in our territory, not have been granted a wish by our chapter or any other chapter.
Q: What is the average cost of wishes you grant?
A: Thanks to the generosity of our in-kind donors and the dedication of our volunteers, the average cost of each wish granted in the Southern Florida chapter is just $5,000.
Q: How much does each family have to spend on a wish?
A: Nothing. Our wish families have enough to worry about. When they are traveling to Walt Disney World®, to see snow or to meet their favorite celebrity, we pay for everything, including spending money for souvenirs to help them remember their one-of-a-kind experience.
Q: How do you raise the money it takes to grant those wishes?
A: We finance our endeavors through corporate sponsorships, special events, foundation grants and individual contributions. We do not solicit funds by telephone and receives no government funding.
Q: What do wish children wish for?
A: ”I want to go to Disney World!” is by far the number one request of our wish children. Popular requests also include: computer, travel, shopping spree, home electronics and meeting celebrities. Wishes generally fall into one of four categories: to have (a computer), to go (on a vacation), to meet (Selena Gomez), or to be (a firefighter).
Q: I received a solicitation call from the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Was that your chapter?
A: Absolutely NOT. No Make-A-Wish chapter will ever call you asking for money. Please be careful when answering these types of calls - ask lots of questions, take notes and pass the information along to us. We prosecute these individuals aggressively.
Q: How much of my donation will go toward overhead expenses?
A: 77 cents of every dollar we spend goes toward granting wishes.
Q: How can I volunteer my time?
A: Visit the volunteer page on our web site. The page will explain the different types of volunteer jobs available – you can also access a Volunteer Interest Form to fill out and submit online. You will be called when the next mandatory Volunteer Information Session is scheduled for your area. We have more than 550 volunteers who are the lifeblood of our organization.
Q: My question didn’t get answered. Can you still help me?
A: Call 954-967-WISH (9474). We’ll answer it for you.