Make a Wish Foundation
There are few experiences more powerful than making a wish come true, which is why Make-A-Wish has made it their mission to create life-changing wishes for children with critical illnesses. Throughout the entire state of Nebraska, Make-A-Wish has listened to the quiet whispers and hopes of these special children and made their wishes become a reality. These wishes have proven physical and emotional benefits that give children with critical illnesses a renewed sesnse of hope and help the children, their families and the community.
What services do you provide?
Make-A-Wish Mission: To create life-changing wishes for children with critical illnesses.
Make-A-Wish Nebraska serves the entire state of Nebraska, with headquarters in Omaha and satellite offices in Lincoln and Kearney. Our goal is to grant the heartfelt wish of every eligible child in Nebraska.
The Nebraska chapter was formed in 1983, and since then has granted over 2,900 wishes throughout the state. Over 350 volunteers help spread and support our mission across the entire state.
How have you seen the organization make a difference?
Make-A-Wish has a unique purpose. We listen to the quiet whispers and hopes of these special children and then we make their wishes come true. Fear and fatigue are pushed aside by excitement that bubbles out in giggles and shy smiles. We replace riding in wheelchairs with traveling in stretch limousines. Doctor visits give way to a command performance by their favorite characters. Whatever their minds can conceive, and their hearts can dream, we do our best to make it into reality. Wishes are the driving force behind all we do because, simply put, wish experiences transform lives. Wishes have proven physical and emotional benefits that can give children with critical illnesses a renewed sense of hope and wishes and not only help these children but also have far-reaching, positive impacts on their families and communities. There are few experiences more powerful than making a wish come true.
Is there anything you wish more people knew about your organization?
Despite all the challenges COVID-19 has presented, Make-A-Wish Nebraska has never stopped granting wishes. We continue to grant non-travel wishes like campers, play structures, hot tubs, puppy wishes, room redos, playhouses and shopping sprees. Thanks to all our supporters, we were able to grant 92 unique and special wishes the last fiscal year. By granting a child’s wish, we are sparking joy that will rejuvenate and help them cope with the stress of fighting a critical illness and create hope for brighter days ahead. Make-A-Wish is also not just for terminal illnesses – the majority of our wish kids go on to learn, cope with — or even beat — their illnesses.
How can people get connected/involved?
There are many ways to get involved with Make-A-Wish including: hosting fundraisers, volunteering, donating airline miles, providing in-kind donations and contributing monetary donations. Make-A-Wish Nebraska’s funding comes through donations from individuals, businesses, fundraising events, charitable trusts, bequests and foundations. Make-A-Wish Nebraska is a private, nonprofit 501©(3) organization with an annual budget of over $3 million a year. Program costs account for 82% of every dollar, and the money raised in Nebraska helps grant Nebraska wishes.
Volunteers are always welcome and make it possible for us to carry out our mission. All volunteers must first attend a volunteer orientation. Currently we are looking for:
- Spanish Interpreters
- Wish Granters – As a member of a wish team, wish granters meet with the family, help the wish child determine their wish and act as a liaison between Make-A-Wish staff and the wish family during the wish process. Wish granters must be a minimum of 21 years old. (requires background check)
- Scrapbook Volunteers –Each wish child receives a keepsake memory album that includes many photos of their wish. Creative and experienced scrapbookers are needed to create a beautiful keepsake memory album.
- Clerical Workers
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