Make-A-Wish serves a unique, and vital, role in helping strengthen and empower children battling life-threatening medical conditions.
Make-A-Wish® grants the wish of a child diagnosed with a life-threatening medical condition in the United States and its territories, on average, every 38 minutes. We believe that a wish experience can be a game-changer. This one belief guides us. It inspires us to grant wishes that change the lives of the kids we serve.
HOW IT ALL STARTED
Chris, 7, was diagnosed with leukemia. More than anything else, he wished to be a police officer. Caring people in his community granted his wish … and set in motion a phenomenon that would create an unprecedented kind of charity.
Make-A-Wish® Orange County and the Inland Empire was established in 1983 with the fulfillment of 14-year-old Tamara’s wish to see the clear blue waters of the Caribbean. Since then we have granted approximately 4,750 wishes to children in Orange, Riverside, and San Bernardino counties.
Make-A-Wish® Orange County and the Inland Empire is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that fulfills the wishes of medically eligible children between the ages of 2 1/2 and 18.
How We Grant Wishes
Step 1: Referral
We rely on medical professionals, parents and children themselves for referrals. Children who have reached the age of 2½ and are under the age of 18 at the time of referral – and have not received a wish from another wish-granting organization – may be eligible for a wish.
Step 2: Medical Eligibility
We determine a child’s medical eligibility with the help of the treating physician. To receive a wish, the child must be diagnosed with a life-threatening medical condition (i.e., a progressive, degenerative or malignant condition that has placed the child’s life in jeopardy).
Step 3: The Wish
We send one of our enthusiastic wish teams to learn the child’s one true wish. These committed volunteers connect with wish children, awaken their imaginations and help them envision an experience with the power to change lives.
Step 4: Creating Joy
Our wish granters create an unforgettable experience driven by the child’s creativity. They strive to personalize each wish and to make it match the wish kid’s idea of a perfect day.