Week 50: Fundraising for Make-A-Wish



In the movie The Never Ending Story, Bastian learns the power of imagination….


Empress Moonchild:  One grain of sand. It is all that remains of my vast empire.

Bastian: Fantasia has totally disappeared?

Empress Moonchild: Yes.

Bastian: Then everything has been in vain.

Empress Moonchild: No, it hasn’t. Fantasia can arise in you. In your dreams and wishes Bastian.

Bastian: How?

Empress Moonchild: Open your hand.

She puts the grain of sand  into his hand and he looks at it…





Empress Moonchild: What are you going to wish for?

Bastian: I don’t know.

Empress Moonchild: Then there will be no Fantasia any more.

Bastian:  How many wishes do I get?

Empress Moonchild: As many as you want. And the more wishes you make, the more magnificent Fantasia will become.

Bastian:  Really?

Empress Moonchild: Try it.

Bastian: Then my first wish is…

Moonchild follows his gaze and smiles…



The vision of the Make-A-Wish foundation is to grant the wish of every eligible child diagnosed with a critical illness. In the US and its territories this translates to a wish being granted every 34 minutes.

make a wish logo


The organization firmly believes that when wishes come true, it helps critically ill children feel stronger, more energetic, more willing and able to battle their illness.


They believe the wish experience is a game-changer for the children and their families.


wishing well with labelI’d reached out to the NJ Chapter of Make-A-Wish after registering for a virtual Birthday Run 10k where a portion of my registration fee would be donated to the organization. I wanted to learn more about the organization and ways to volunteer beyond my run.



I learned Make-A-Wish has 62 chapters throughout the United States and additional operations in 45 other countries. The NJ Chapter alone granted 530 wishes last year, and nationally Make-A-Wish has granted more than 285,000 wishes since 1980.


I learned that medical professionals treating children who receive wishes say that the experiences improve the child’s physical health, and that children who receive wishes are more resilient in their attitudes toward difficult but vital treatments. They fight harder against their illnesses and comply more readily with treatment protocols.


fairy granting wishes with label

The organization shared some stories of wishes granted and I was able to read and watch many more on their website.


I learned that over 40% of the wishes involve The Walt Disney Company and that wishes of all shapes and size were granted. From meeting favorite sports players, to taking family trips, to learning new skills and more.



I also learned there were a variety of ways to volunteer and I started by picking a way to fundraise for the organization.


IMG_7434[1]I found a 10k virtual Birthday Challenge run that I could do at some point during my birthday month.


A portion of my registration fee would go to the organization and I was able to do some fundraising prior to completing my race which added to the donation amount.



Armed with the emotional and uplifting stories of the children and their wishes, I chose one morning before work to complete the race and kept the children and their families in mind as I ran the miles.


Children are referred to Make-A-Wish by medical professionals, family members, or the children themselves. Children between the ages of 2 ½ and 18 and who have not received a wish from another wish-granting organization are eligible for a wish based on their medical eligibility. To receive a wish, the child must be diagnosed with a critical illness (a progressive, degenerative or malignant condition that placed the child’s life in jeopardy). The economic background of the child and their family has no bearing on whether their wish is granted.


Once chosen, one of the enthusiastic wish teams contacts the child and his/her family to learn the child’s true wish. Wish granters crate an unforgettable experience driven by the child’s creativity. The goal is to personalize each wish and make it match the wish kid’s idea of a perfect day. Just like Bastian learns in The Never Ending Story, pretty much whatever experience the children can imagine, can come true.



Wishes can run an average of $10,000 and only come true because of the caring actions of donors and volunteers. I was told that every little bit helps, so I was excited to participate in any way I could. I was happy to get out and celebrate my birthday month with a fundraiser and race.  Finishing the 10k meant I’d receive a commemorative birthday cupcake medal with glitter frosting, but getting to know the foundation meant the real celebration was participating in this amazing organization and being able to help make a child’s wish come true.


I’m looking forward to volunteering some time to Make-A-Wish through additional fundraising, outreach, or helping and/or participating at special events.


me with medal




…for joining me on this week’s journey!


Until next week,


XO XO Penelope




To learn more about Make-A-Wish, check out their national website at:



You can read some of the beautiful wish stories here:



To get a referral inquiry form so you can refer a patient, visit: https://wish.org/refer-a-child/referral-inquiry-form#sm.00090f0zdew2fkv107y1nupbzn425


To see the calendar of the 2018 Make-A-Wish “Walk for Wishes” events, please visit: https://secure2.wish.org/site/SPageNavigator/WFW_search_events.html?allEvents=true#sm.00090f0zdew2fkv107y1nupbzn425



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