World Wish Day
annually on April 29th (since 2010)
Awareness & Advocacy
World Wish Day celebrates wishes that have been granted—and those that are still to come—through the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Make-A-Wish is a leading children's charity, and the world's largest gift-giving organization, with over 45,000 volunteers, and 30,000 wishes granted each year to critically ill children and to children living with life-threatening illnesses. Since its inception in 1980, over 480,000 wishes have been granted, giving children joy and hope, as well as strength to better fight their illnesses. After being started in Phoenix, Arizona, Make-A-Wish spread around the world. Make-A-Wish International was formed in 1993, with five countries outside the United States being involved in it; the number is now over 50. Make-A-Wish America also has over 60 chapters.
The first World Wish Day took place in 2010, on the 30th anniversary of the granting of the wish that was the inspiration to the start of the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Chris Greicius was a 7-year-old boy who had leukemia, who had a wish to become a police officer. On April 29, 1980, members from the Arizona Department of Public Safety, as well as local police officers, made Chris's dream come true. On that day and over the next few, he was given a uniform, helmet, and badge. He also took a motorcycle proficiency test and was given a helicopter ride. Sadly, he passed away on May 3—but not before having his wish come true.
Those who would go on to found Make-A-Wish discussed making other wishes for critically ill children possible. Frank "Bopsy" Salazar, another 7-year-old with leukemia, then became the first official child of Make-A-Wish. The connection between Disney and Make-A-Wish was formed at this time, as visiting Disneyland was one of Salazar's wishes. The foundation took off from there, but it still needs support, and that is what World Wish Day is all about.
How to Observe World Wish Day
Celebrate the day by sharing about it with others and using the #WorldWishDay hashtag, in order to raise awareness and funds for the Make-A-Wish Foundation, so that more children can get their wishes granted. You could donate to Make-A-Wish International, start or join a fundraiser, and check for more information on the day's website. You could also donate to Make-A-Wish America and find your local chapter and volunteer.