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Every fulfilled wish represents a unique collaboration between wish families, medical professionals, volunteers and donors. Wish granting is a magical, yet comprehensive and dynamic process.
It begins with a referral. Currently, about 80% of our referrals come from the health care community - physicians, nurses, social workers, hospice personnel and therapists. Referrals also come from friends, family members and even from the children themselves. The referral is accepted ONLY if the parents have been notified and express an interest in having their child receive a wish.
To learn more about referring a child or to contact our office about a child you know, go to our wish referral page.
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Qualifying the Child
We then begin the process of qualifying the child to receive a wish from the Foundation. Make-A-Wish has only three requirements before a wish can be granted:
- The child must between 2 1/2 through 17 years of age.
- The child's physician medically qualifies the child.
- The child has not received a wish from Make-A-Wish of any other wish-granting organization.
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After the child has qualified, a team of two trained and caring volunteers are assigned to visit with the child and ask, "If you could do or have anything in the world, go anywhere, or meet anyone - what would you choose?"
Once the big decision has been made, Make-A-Wish goes to work immediately. Wishes can be as simple as a bright pink bicycle, or as complicated as meeting superstar Michael Jordan. On the average, wishes are granted within eight weeks. But when there is a special urgency, Make-A-Wish has fulfilled a wish within hours. Each wish is specifically designed to match not only the child's dream, but also his or her individual needs and circumstances. Whenever possible, the child's immediate family is included in the wish.
Wishes are only limited by a child's imagination. We provide the structure, but it's
the child's request that determines what Make-A-Wish will do. However, Make-A-Wish
follows policies and guidelines in granting a wish. We also work closely with the
childs physician to determine if the wish can be fulfilled. Some examples of recently
granted wishes include: trips to Disneyland and Disney World&touching a whale...
meeting Santa Claus...wrestling with an alligator...playing catch with Ken Griffey Jr.!
Make-A-Wish covers all expenses associated with a wish, including airfare, meals, transportation, lodging, admission fees, souvenirs and spending money. Our goal is to create a totally worry-free time for the child and family. When all the finishing touches are in place, Make-A-Wish steps back and allows the family to enjoy the magic and memories. A wish is an unconditional gift to the family.
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