Illinois– the local chapter of the global organization that grants life-changing wishes for children with critical illnesses – will celebrate World Wish Day April 29, the 38th anniversary of the wish that inspired the founding of the organization. In preparation for the milestone achievement, Make-A-Wish chapters and affiliates worldwide are joining forces for a month-long campaign with the theme: “it takes more than magic, it takes muscle” to grant wishes. Throughout April, Make-A-Wish Illinois will aim to grant as many wishes as possible and focus on the fact that a wish can give kids the mental strength to fight their illness. The campaign will also honor the donors, doctors, volunteers and other supporters who, together, lend their muscle – whether it be their time, energy or resources – to make wishes possible.
The campaign kicks off today, April 2, with the release of a brand-new set of PSAs
. The PSAs feature Make-A-Wish kids, including a superhero, mermaid, pop star, marine, astronaut and makeup artist, showing off the emotional, psychological and physical muscle they gained from their wish experience. The wish kids appear alongside WWE®
Superstar John Cena, who has granted 580 wishes, more than any other person. Celebrity wish granters Johnny Depp – whose support through wish granting and fundraising at studio premieres and movie screenings spans 30 years – and Steve Harvey, a longtime wish granter, lent their voices to the PSAs as well.
Later in April, Make-A-Wish will challenge people around the world to participate in the #ArmWrestleChallenge, a fun, family-friendly social media competition that encourages people to show their muscle to raise awareness and funds for the organization.
The grand finale takes place at the end of April, when Make-A-Wish attempts to set a new GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS™ title for the Largest wish granting non-profit organization. Locally, Make-A-Wish Illinois will be hosting Wish Reunion events throughout the state, giving wish alumni the opportunity to connect and share their experiences.
“Wishes would not be possible without the collective muscle of countless Make-A-Wish supporters right here in the local community,” said Stephanie Springs, Chief Executive Officer of Make-A-Wish Illinois. “The World Wish Day campaign allows us to acknowledge all of the people who lend their muscle to creating wish experiences that build the emotional and physical strength kids need to fight their illness.”
World Wish Day illustrates the imperative role a wish plays in a child’s medical treatment. Research shows that a wish can help kids build the physical and emotional strength they need to fight a critical illness – an eye-opening finding in light of the fact that Make-A-Wish is currently only able to grant the wish of one of out of every two eligible children in the U.S. Join the World Wish Day celebration and change lives for the better.