Giving back to the community that has given us so much is very important to Julie and me. We love Edmond and are always searching for new ways to serve. We’ve found that tenfold in Make-A-Wish Oklahoma.
About two years ago, Julie and I were invited to a Make-A-Wish event and we were immediately blown away by the power of these wishes.
The national president of Make-A-Wish, David Williams, describes this power:
“Wish kids tell us that these experiences bring back hope and the ability to fight harder against their illnesses. Wish parents tell us that they feel their family was re-energized their strength revitalized as they saw the joy and motivation for finishing treatment, getting better, getting well enough to live out their wish. Medical professionals tell us that they believe wishes can positively influence a child’s physical health condition.”
But believe me, seeing the impact this organization has is something really, really special. I’ve never been more moved than when listening to the trials these kids go through and the joy M-A-W brings.
At their summer fundraiser, a casino-themed event, they raised $53,000 to continue granting the wishes of Oklahoma children with qualifying illnesses.
At this event I had the opportunity to meet Make-A-Wish Ambassador Katie Goss. She’s incredible. I was so moved by her story and her spirit.
At the auction portion of the evening, I was able to purchase a guitar played by Garth Brooks, and got word that Katie Goss would love to have it.
You can learn more about Katie in the video below:
This incredible foundation began in 1980 with 7-year-old Chris Greicius’ dream to catch bad guys. Chris’ mom’s best friend’s husband, US Customs Agent Tommy Austin, was hellbent on granting that wish but ran into some bureaucratic hesitation from Customs, so he checked to see what the Arizona Department of Public Safety could do to help.
The DPS director green lighted the wish, allowing a squad car and a motorcycle to greet the helicopter Chris was flown in from Scottsdale Memorial Hospital to DPS headquarters. There he was presented with a “Smokey Bear” hat, a badge, and became Arizona’s first and only honorary DPS officer.
The sheer joy and excitement that this little action brought Chris and his family in one of their darkest hours put into motion something much, much bigger.
The story began to circulate around the area and plans were laid to create an organization aimed at bringing joy into the darkest part of a family’s journey. In no time at all, the non-profit was set up and started with a $15 donation from a grocery store manager.
By the next spring, the group raised enough to grant its first official wish and the rest, as they say, is history.
Since then, Make-A-Wish has expanded all over the United States and its Territories, granting a whopping 15,300 wishes in 2016. On average in the US, a wish is granted every 34 minutes.
Let’s help pick up the pace.
While that’s an amazing number, it’s only about half of the number of children diagnosed every year with a disease making them eligible to receive a wish.
There are SO MANY ways to help including: donations, matching gifts, in kind, monthly, adopt-a-wish, donate airline miles, workplace giving, planned giving, volunteer, become a sponsor, walk for wishes, go to the Make-A-Wish marketplace and load up on all the official make a wish swag and help grant wishes!! For more information on how you can help call the local chapter today at 405-286-4000 or visit the website at: http://oklahoma.wish.org/, or