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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Children & Youth, Children & Youth Services, Health, Patient & Family Support, Public & Societal Benefit

Mission: Make-A-Wish Alaska and Washington grants wishes to children with life-threatening medical conditions to enrich the human experience with hope, strength and joy. Since our inception in 1986, our local chapter has granted wishes to more than 5,100 children. This year, we will grant approximately 300 wishes to local children throughout Alaska and Washington. A child’s most heartfelt wish may vary from a family trip to Hawaii, to the gift of a backyard playset, to the chance to be a superhero for a day. Regardless of the dream, each wish strengthens family bonds, enriches community spirit, and makes a life-changing impact on the emotional and physical health of a critically-ill child.

Programs: Wish program - the make-a-wish foundation of alaska & washington grants the wishes of children between the ages of 2-1/2 and 18 years old with life-threatening medical conditions to enrich the human experience with hope, strength, and joy. The power of a wish is truly transformative and long-lasting. It offers the child something to yearn for that's not steeped in the language of hospitals, trauma, or pain. In a world that has become chaotic and uncontrollable for them, make-a-wish alaska and washington provides wish children and their families with a unique opportunity to exercise some control when they alone determine their heartfelt wish. It provides the family the opportunity to celebrate something joyful together, without any worry or hassle. This gift is unparalleled and unique to make-a-wish. It is something that no medicine, no doctors and no nurses can provide. Wish kid brody's mom, melissa, says it best: "make-a-wish gave our family a feeling of hope for the first time in a long time. We had a sense of togetherness. No business, no school, no doctors, just us. We made so many memories that we will never forget and will forever be treasured. "eighty-nine percent of medical professionals say that receiving a wish positively influences a childs health. Seattle childrens hospital pediatric nephrologist, sangeeta hingorani, has seen the power of a wish first hand. "we can offer the kids lifesaving therapies, but make-a-wish gives them a little bit of their life back," said dr. Hingorani. Jeff beck, a pediatric palliative care physician at seattle childrens also understands the importance of wishes as part of a childs overall treatment plan. "patient care at its best includes care for the mind and the spirit in addition to the body," said dr. Beck. "a wish experience goes to the essence of caring holistically for a young person facing a serious and life-threatening illness. Providing the opportunity for a child and the family to shift their focus from the clinical condition to the experience of a wish provides rest to the mind and vitality to the spirit. Since 1986, our local chapter has granted tranformational wish experiences to more than 5,500 children. During the 2013-2014 fiscal year, 336 wishes were granted for children living within the chapter's territory. Below are just a few examples of wishes granted: -a five-year-old girl from lakewood, washington wished to have a service dog-a six-year-old girl from kennewick, washington wished to go to her favorite theme park -a sixteen-year-old boy from anchorage, alaska wished to go to antarctica to see the penguins. More than 600 carefully-trained wish-granting volunteers donated their time, compassion and creativity to make each wish come true this year. Furthermore, generous donors provided us with the financial aid and in-kind resources necessary to create wish experiences that consistently exceed the expectations of wish children and their families.

Community Stories

16 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This experience has been one of the best. I see the joy that lights up a child's eyes and you can see the pain disappear for just a little while. I have worked with the organization for a little while now and I can say that it has definitely made me a better person. Seeing the strength that these kids have is motivating to me that my problems are not that big. It has absolutely been a joy to work with the great people at Make-A-Wish Alaska & Washington and I would certainly recommend it to just about anyone.

Crystal22

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Working with Make-A-Wish, I have realized the power and energy that granting a wish can have in the life of a child and their family. The everlasting memories provide families with photos and experiences that the families cherish for many years to come. The organization is first class with great communication, training and experiences that are meaningful to all involved!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Working with the Make-A-Wish Foundation is a complete joy. It is so gratifying to be able to bring smiles and great memories to our special wish children and their families, especially considering all that they go through when dealing with their life-threatening illness. The kids and families are truly amazing- you learn so much from them. Staff at Make-A-Wish makes it easy to navigate even the most complicated scenarios; and it is obvious that they are all invested in the mission of the Make-A-Wish Foundation and do all that they can to support our efforts. As I tell my friends, I feel like the Fairy Godmother- who would not have fun granting wishes?

Selena F.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've loved working with Make a Wish over the past year. I've had the opportunity to meet many great kids and their amazing families. The program really empowers volunteers to choose their level of involvement. An email is sent out as needed from the local make a wish chapter with a short description of different volunteer opportunities. Roles range greatly from envelope stuffing to working with kids to giving speeches at charity events to many other options, and you can take on as much as you'd like. There's never any shortage of kids, and you can also choose which cities you'd like to work on. The staff is very supportive, and the kids and their families are so happy and thankful. A great experience.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My experience as a Wish Granting volunteer for the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Alaska & Washington has been nothing but wonderful and life-changing. From the detailed training we receive and the Make-A-Wish staff we get to interact with, to meeting the "Wish Kids" and planning and granting their heart-felt wish, I've never done anything so fulfilling that directly helps the cause of an organization. It's so awesome to be so closely connected with the mission of Make-A-Wish, because I get to meet the kids receiving a wish, get to know them and finally play a key part in granting their wish--it's like being a real-life fairy godmother!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

As a volunteer wish-granter, I have the opportunity to live the Make-A-Wish mission to grant the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions to enrich the human experience with hope, strength and joy. I get the opportunity to meet with a wish child, find out what their wish is, and then work with the staff to make the wish come true! I have seen first-hand how the wish experience enhances the quality of life for these sick children, and I am truly honored to be a part of this organization.