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Wish Impact and Facts

Wish Facts

A wish is much more than just a nice thing. Its reach extends far beyond a single event or moment in time. A wish experience can change the lives of everyone involved.

  • Nationally, Make-A-Wish® grants a wish, on average, every 38 minutes. On average, a child is referred for a wish every 28 minutes.
  • Every wish experience is driven by the wish kid’s interests, creativity and personality.
  • To qualify for a wish, a child with a life-threatening medical condition must be older than 2½ years and younger than 18 (at the time of referral). The child must not have received a wish from another wish-granting organization.
  • A child can be referred by a parent or guardian, a medical professional, or by the child.
  • Following referral, a certified medical professional must verify that the child has a life-threatening medical condition. There are no other qualifications based on sex, race, religion, socioeconomic status or any other demographic category.
  • Make-A-Wish chapters serve every community in the United States and its territories.
  • Make-A-Wish has approximately 25,000 active volunteers in the United States.
  • Make-A-Wish needs 2.5 billion frequent flier miles to meet all the travel need for wish kids and their families.
  • Over 50 percent of wish experiences involve travel.
  • The Walt Disney Company is involved in over 40 percent of the wishes Make-A-Wish Georgia grants.
  • As of August 2015, the average cost of a wish was $10,800.

AUSTIN, 7

Austin wished to have a pirate ship playhouse

Austin wished to have a pirate ship playhouse

Wish Impact

According to wish parents, health professionals and volunteers, a wish empowers children to fight harder against their illnesses.

When wish kids are granted a wish, they get more than just a great experience. That experience improves the quality of life for them and their entire family.

Health professionals say the wish experience is an important adjunct to medical treatment. They observe their patients feel better and comply more readily with treatment protocols after a wish.

Volunteers who grant wishes say the wish granting process heightens both their ability to see the best in others and their commitment to actively help more people in need.

Improved Health Status

  • Health professionals who treat wish kids, including nurses and doctors, overwhelmingly believe that the wish experience can improve a wish kids’ physical health.
  • Most health professionals say a wish come true has the potential to be a positive turning point in the child’s battle for health.
  • Parents and volunteers observe that a wish come true makes kids feel stronger and more energetic.
  • Wish kids are more willing to comply with difficult, but vital, treatment regimens.
  • Parents and medical professionals alike describe the wish experience as a frequent turning point in wish kids’ battles for health.

A combined 89 percent of doctors, nurses and health professionals surveyed say they believe a wish experience can influence wish kids' physical health.* 

Enhanced State of Mind

  • Children and their parents alike experience more happiness and less fear in their lives.
  • Children are less isolated from friends, and feel a return of self-confidence that comes with feeling “normal” again.
  • They are empowered to take back control of their lives, and to keep up the fight against their life-threatening medical conditions.
  • Parents say their family units – often strained to the limit by stresses of the illnesses – are repaired and strengthened through the shared experience of the wish process.

Ninety-nine percent of parents reported that the wish experience gave their children increased feelings of happiness; 96 percent said that the wish experience strengthened their families.*

Strengthened Communities

  • Volunteers feel an increased sense of compassion and desire to help others in their community.
  • They feel a renewed faith in humanity. 
  • They trust others more and feel more optimistic about the future.
  • They feel a greater long-term commitment to philanthropy.

Ninety-five percent of community volunteers reported an increased sense of compassion and 84 percent felt an increased faith in humanity.*

*“Wish Impact Study Results", Nov. 2, 2011.

VIVIANA, 8

Viviana wished to have a Frozen birthday party

Viviana wished to have a Frozen birthday party

Make-A-Wish® Georgia
1775 The Exchange SE
Suite 200
Atlanta, GA 30339
(770) 916-9474