Make-A-Wish Ohio, Kentucky, and Indiana
One of the organizations that I have held in high esteem is Make-A-Wish. If you’re not familiar with Make-A-Wish, the organization grants wishes to children with life-threatening medical conditions. My area is covered by the Make-A-Wish Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana chapter, which also happens to be the largest chapter in the country. The chapter was started in 1983, and since then has granted over 13,000 wishes to children in Ohio, Kentucky, and Indiana. In fact, 823 wishes were granted in the last fiscal year alone.
823 wishes for children with life-threatening medical conditions granted in 1 year by Make-A-Wish Ohio, Kentucky, and Indiana!
Whenever discussing charitable organizations, it is always important – as with any other investment – that you fully research the group that you are or are considering supporting. In addition to granting wishes for children, I also like Make-A-Wish Ohio, Kentucky, and Indiana because a very high percentage (reported at 74%) of the donations received by the organization are used for wish-granting activities.
When considering a charitable organization, how they use the donations is very important!
In addition to fully disclosing how their funds are used and using a very high percentage for wish-granting activities, I also like another financial aspect of Make-A-Wish Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana – they do not ask for any donations through telemarketing. Everyone has received those phone calls that come at the most inopportune times, and I’ve even worked as a telemarketer (for a day when I was a teenager!), but it is very difficult to trust that someone on the phone is really who they say they are anymore.
If any telemarketer calls you seeking donations for Make-A-Wish, report the call to 1-877-574-WISH (9474).
What wishes are granted?
To say that an organization grants wishes to children with life-threatening medical conditions is easy – but to actually put it into practice is much harder. Make-A-Wish has had 32 years of practice with it, however, and they have a very easy to understand process:
- Referral: Children with a life-threatening medical condition from 2.5 to 17 years of age may be eligible for a wish. Make-A-Wish accepts referrals from children themselves, parents, and medical professionals to start the wish process.
- Eligibility: The child’s eligibility of a life-threatening medical condition is evaluated, and the child’s physician is involved in this process.
- The Wish: Once the child’s eligibility is confirmed after being referred to Make-A-Wish, the organization sends out a “Wish Team” of volunteers who will help the child to “envision an experience with the power to change lives” (Make-A-Wish OKI).
- Wish Granted: Make-A-Wish grants a wish for the child, based on what the child imagined as a life-changing experience.
Why grant wishes?
The experiences that are granted for children with life-threatening medical conditions are more than just something nice that people came together to do. Starting back in 1980 with a 7-year old named Chris Greicius who was diagnosed with leukemia, the Make-A-Wish Foundation has brought together people who can help children have a dream fulfilled – these children who are fighting for their lives with a bravery that is beyond their years. It benefits the community of people who come together to fulfill the dream of the child, boosting the morale of the parents who are watching their child suffer, with the knowledge that they will likely have to face every parent’s worst nightmare of burying a child.
These children are so strong, so courageous – not because they want to be, but because that is the path their life has taken. To grant a single wish, to fulfill a simple dream, we all learn so much from the smiles of the children whose wishes are granted. As the Make-A-Wish Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana website says, “Whatever the odds, whatever the obstacles… wishes find a way to make the world better.” (Make-A-Wish Mission)
Recent wish granted in Indiana
Recently, Make-A-Wish Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana granted a wish for a 6-year old boy in Indiana. Levi has a best friend who has offered him support and encouragement through his illness with a rare genetic disorder. He is too sick to travel, but his wish was for his friend Emma to travel. She took a “Flat Levi” around with her on her trip to Florida and snapped pictures for him to see. Read more about Levi and his wish.
You Can Help – Vote Now
Now that I’ve told you what an awesome organization Make-A-Wish Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana is, how they grant wishes, and shown you an example of one of the wishes granted by this chapter, I want to strongly urge you to vote for this chapter in a contest that is happening now through February 15, 2015.
The LIDS Foundation has an annual “Tip the Hat Award” in which $300,000 is awarded to the top 5 finalists in a search for charitable organizations that support healthy and active youth programs. The first place winner is awarded $125,000, second place winner is awarded $75,000, third place winner is awarded $50,000, and the fourth and fifth place winners are each awarded $25,000.
The LIDS Foundation Board of Directors have narrowed down the list of organizations to the top 5 finalists – and Make-A-Wish Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana is one of those finalists! From here, the organizations are rallying supporters to cast a vote on lidsfoundation.org to decide the “Tip the Hat Award” grand prize winner, and I would LOVE for it to be my local chapter of Make-A-Wish!
To see more about the award, watch this video: