Hello my name is Shannon-Lee Thurston and I am a charity organiser for the Make-a-Wish foundation. The Make-a-Wish foundation is the largest wish granting foundation in the nation.
As the foundation continues to grow, our mission stays the same; to grant children of the past, present and future the opportunity to share the power of a wish. We grant these children with life-threatening illnesses to enrich the human experience with hope, strength and joy.
What a Wish is
What is a wish? A wish is a once in a lifetime opportunity for children fighting a life threatening condition. It is a positive distraction from on-going medical treatment and a focus for children whose future may be uncertain. The most common wishes we receive are to go to Disneyland.
When it started
The Make-a-Wish foundation was founded in 1980 and their first wish for a little boy called Christopher Graces who was being treated with leukemia. With a very low chance of survival there would be a strong chance that Christopher would die and never have had the opportunity to fulfil his wish of becoming a police officer. On April 29th 1980 the Make-a-Wish foundation made Christopher a sworn-in police officer giving him his own uniform and badge.
The Make-a-Wish foundation has granted over 8,000 wishes over the past 30 years.
Here is a video of Taylon, a young girl with an inoperable brain tumor, fulfilling her wish of seeing her idol in concert and showing you just how much a wish can help.
A new case study has found that a third of parents whose children received a wish through Make-a-Wish see an improvement in their physical health after the wish has been granted. The study has also revealed that a third see improvements in their mobility and over half cope better with their illness.
This year we will be granting over 1,000 wishes and we need to raise over 7 million pounds to achieve this. We receive no government funding or lottery grants so every donation really does count.
How can you help
So how can you help?
· Make donations to the Make-a-wish foundation
· Be helpers at events
· Recommend certain children with the hope for an opportunity like this
· Donate treasures such as building supplies, computer equipment and loyalty points
How can the school as a whole help? The Make-a-Wish foundation is holding a new fundraiser called ‘Bake-a-Wish’. This fundraiser asks you to bake cakes and then hold a cake sale or bake off to raise money. I know that you do this a lot in school so you are used it. Make-a-Wish will then take that money to grant wishes.
To find out more or even make a donation, please go to the Make-a-Wish foundation website.
Thanks for listening and I hope that you choose the Make-a-Wish foundation as your charity.