I just have to say after reading these reviews, my daughter's experience was wonderful. She had a "benign" brain tumor but had gone through multiple surgeries and radiation. She was left with multiple disabilities. Her wish was simple, to see "The Wiggles". Make A Wish did that for her and included our whole family. They sent us by limousine and paid for the tickets and the hotel and gave us extra money for expenses. They set up a private meeting with The Wiggles for her. It was a trip we all remembered for years as going on vacation with a medically fragile child is not easy. My daughter passed away almost two years ago but I will always thank MAW for those happy memories.
Review from CharityNavigator
To the recipients of this breathtaking organization, I do not have to tell them what Make a Wish Foundation has meant to their shortened lives! The children have only a few yerars or even months left to do the things they have dreamed about, and this organization has performed tasks time after time to grant their dream wish, whether it be to become a fireman for a day, meet their favorite ball player, or see a dinosaur! Any one thing is no geater than another if if is these childern's ultimate dream, and it is the Make a Wish foundation which makes tose dreams come true!! Five stars to the Make a Wish Foundation!!
Volunteer Speaks writer couldn't be more wrong. MAW grants wishes to children with life-threatening wishes, not terminally ill only!!! DO your research before you slander a charity that helps kids! I was one of the 1st kids granted a wish from MAW Metro NY. I had childhood Leukemia at age 15. 85% cure rate. Should i have not gotten a wish? I went through two +years of HELL (chemo, radiation, surgery)and suffered life-long disabilities from my Cancer, which effects my life today. My wish gave me hope and even just made me happy and took my mind off my treatment for a week. It also made me the man I am today, serving the non-profit community. if that doesn't deserve your $, go stick it where the sun don't shine.
Review from CharityNavigator
There are some things that people should question: Salaries of all the Long Island people they hire --- overpaid and over staffed for the limited yearly wishes they do (especially when the volunteers do most of the work from interviewing and meeting with the families to doing the wishes) My experience was that most of the staff are Long Island girls who focus more on raising money and events than truly getting involved with the sick children and their families. Look at the real cost of the wishes after deducting all staff costs and events!!!! Then also look at how many children are REALLY TERMINALLY ILL, DYING FROM CANCER --- I would estimate less than 1% but this organization has given the false impression that people are helping dying children. That is what they want you to believe. I asked all my friends what Make A Wish was for and they all gave me the same answer: helping dying children get a wish before they die. I said it was not so --- most will survive they just have to have a life threatening disease. I can tell you that I will not donate any money to Make A Wish nor will my friends. They have gone away from the original intention of why Make A Wish was created. Then ask how many children in the Metro NY are USA citizens? Surprise again! Many are foreign people who just come to the USA to take advantage of our medical system and the real people paying are American citizens that pay taxes. Make A Wish looked the other way each time I reported it and said it did not matter. As a result I will not support Make A Wish. I don't think the donors realize how much money is wasted on the large inefficient staff and their salaries. A bunch of Long Island people getting paid very well for very little in my personal opinion. Ask for each person to list their salaries plus their benefits and ask for how much time they spend trying to get donations --- then compare the real cost to the actual cost of each wish --- total the actual wish cost for the year without including the salaries and the staff expenses such as their using their cars, parking, ... and you will note that the wish expenses are most likely overstated. There are much better organizations to donate money to.
I volunteered for this organization and was very disappointed with the experience. First, as I reviewed the expenses vs. what the top person is earning $200,000 it is too much for only 700+ wishes a year. Add to this at least another 10 on staff that fail to follow up on details such as the current address of the family, correct birth date and directions for volunteers. 8 other Directors earning good salaries and poor results. The office staff is a mess. Volunteers are frustrated but if you criticize them they are very defensive. What I found most disturbing is that donors think they are donating to dying children and they are being misled. Most of the children will be fine and on medication and will live a long life and have what Make A Wish labels a "life threatening disease". They are misleading donors and in their campaign to get people to donate focus on the most ill children to promote sympathy. Another issue is that this particular Make A Wish is looking the other way when they know illegal residents are involved and are giving trips to families that are illegally residing in the USA even after being informed. The parents of the children are honest about their status and Make A Wish does not care if they are residing in the USA illegally I wonder how many donors would donate to Make A Wish of Metro NY if they knew the truth? As a volunteer I only experienced one child with a terminal disease and my last four wishes involved parents that were illegally in the USA. When Make A Wish was questioned the response was as long as we are not providing housing we are not doing anything illegal. As a result, I decided it was not an organization I should be involved in.