Make-A-Wish Illinois faces a record number of wishes waiting to be granted as a result of the recent need to postpone all wishes that involve travel due to the public and medical concerns of COVID-19. As 77% of wishes involve travel, 970 wishes nationwide and 167 wishes through Make-A-Wish Illinois were immediately impacted with additional wishes being impacted every day. The challenging circumstances have inspired Make-A-Wish to think creatively about how to bring hope and joy to Make-A-Wish kids during unpredictable and scary times. Today, March 20, 2020, Make-A-Wish announces “Messages of Hope” to give supporters and the general public alike a fun, easy way to help children with critical illnesses without needing to leave the house.
Make-A-Wish Illinois knows that the anticipation of a wish-come-true can be a powerful motivator for wish kids to face and overcome the challenges in their way. Through “Messages of Hope,” Make-A-Wish invites the public to spread hope and anticipation by writing, recording or photographing themselves delivering messages of encouragement for wish kids waiting for wishes impacted by COVID-19. Before sharing their messages, participants should consider a donation at illinois.wish.org to prepare Make-A-Wish to grant the unprecedented number of pending wishes once normal operations resume. The last step is to post the messages to any social media channel along with the tag, @wishillinois, and the hashtag, #WishesAreWaiting. Two or more friends should also be tagged and challenged because the more messages shared, the greater the impact on wish kids and their families.
The announcement of “Messages of Hope” comes exactly 40 days prior to April 29, 2020, known as World Wish Day. On World Wish Day, Make-A-Wish will mark the 40th anniversary of the wish that inspired the founding of the organization with noteworthy surprises and announcements. Until then, Make-A-Wish will spend the next 40 days highlighting some of the messages received on the official Make-A-Wish social media accounts. The messages will give wish kids and their families hope today so that they can look forward to tomorrow.
“During this extraordinary time, we continue to need community support,” said Stephanie Springs, Chief Executive Officer of Make-A-Wish Illinois. “Even while travel wishes are being postponed, new wish children are qualifying for wishes daily; non-travel wishes are being fulfilled; and hundreds of wishes are being discovered and created for the coming months. Our staff and volunteers are operating at a heightened level to ensure that wish kids get to experience their transformative wish journey each of them deserves with minimal disruption.”
“‘Messages of Hope’ calls upon people looking to do something positive and impactful during these uncertain times to bring hope and joy to children and families who need it most,” said Richard K. Davis, Make-A-Wish America president and CEO. “As we approach the 40th anniversary of the founding wish, there’s no denying that we are in the midst of one of the most challenging times in Make-A-Wish history. The time is now for the public to rally in support of wishes because every child deserves a childhood.”
Through “Messages of Hope,” Make-A-Wish Illinois aims to build support for the wishes currently on hold due to COVID-19 because wishes can improve a child’s quality of life and produce better health outcomes. More than ever before, wishes need the support of individual and corporate donors to grant the wish of every eligible child.
Learn more and help at illinois.wish.org.
creates life-changing wishes for children with critical illnesses. Research shows children who have wishes granted can build the physical and emotional strength they need to fight their illness. Since being founded locally in 1985, Make-A-Wish Illinois has granted more than 16,000 wishes and continues its mission to share the power of a wish®
with children in all areas of the state. For information visit illinois.wish.org
or @wishillinois on social media
Make-A-Wish, Make-A-Wish Foundation, the Make-A-Wish swirl-and-star logo, When Stars Align, Wishes Need Stars Like You and World Wish Day are marks of Make-A-Wish Foundation of America.