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2012 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Make-A-Wish Alaska and Washington

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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.

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