For the past several weeks I have been hearing advertisements for charity events that promote research to end cancer. I'm a big believer in donating to charity on a regular basis, but I have to confess that many advertisements for very worthwhile charities fail to catch my attention. But there always exceptions, and some of the ads really jump out at me in a profound way.
One ad in particular has caught my attention several times, an ad that closes with simple but very powerful words: "Because everyone deserves a lifetime." When I heard that sentence, it immediately reminded me of my favorite charity: The Make-A-Wish Foundation. Make-A-Wish helps terminally ill children realize their dreams. But sadly, many of them donít get to experience a full lifetime.
Although I'm not yet a parent, I do firmly believe that everyone deserves a lifetime, and children are first on the priority list. Unfortunately, not all children are destined to grow up. The reality is that some children get cancer or other terminal illnesses. No one likes to face that fact. But the Make-A-Wish Foundation provides a great way to help bring smiles to a sick child's face. They can be what every child wants to be, just a kid, especially if he or she can have his or her wildest dreams come true.
Children deserve to have happiness - and that includes having some of their most special wishes being fulfilled. The Make-A-Wish Foundation allows anyone who wants to donate to charity to have the power to wave a virtual magic wand and help a child's wish come true.
What better feeling could there be than to know that you helped a child get to have incredible moments never believed possible? Imagine the wonder of those moments. Recently fulfilled requests have included letting a child get to be a pilot or a high fashion model, even if only for a day or two.
Make-A-Wish doesn't isolate or treat sick children as objects of pity. Instead, the organization strives to bring some magic to a child's life. This isn't about denial but instead about embracing the joy that can still be there, even when the future is uncertain. It is about making the most of every moment.
Sometime children wish to meet their role models and Make-A-Wish has certainly had its share of celebrities step up and help out. They include such noted personalities as Beyonce, George Lopez, Mariah Carey, The Jonas Brothers, Michal Jordan and the cast of The Office. Sometimes the experience goes far beyond simply meeting a favorite performer.
A young girl with a brain tumor was able to travel to see the Jonas Brothers and watch them rehearse for their Grammy Awards performance. But it didn't end there. She got to hang out with them backstage, get pictures taken with the guys and even have autographs to take home as a reminder of this remarkable day.
Amazingly, the Foundation is able to grant a wish every 40 minutes, largely due to those who are willing to donate to charity, those who understand the importance of helping children feel wonder and joy. Any child with a potentially deadly condition who is at least 2 and 1/2 years old and not yet 18 is eligible. Once a child is referred, basic information is gathered from the child's physician and input about what types of wishes can be fulfilled - while still keeping the child under full medical treatment - is discussed.
Children are given one question: "If you had one wish, what would it be?" From there, the Make-A-Wish workers step in and try to fulfill that wish. It is really as simple as that and they often make incredible wishes come true.
It begins with a contribution of time or money to the charity. Simple? Yes, but how often does anyone get to share the power of a wish? With Make-A-Wish, both children and donors get to experience that very wonderful power.
Chris Mohritz is an innovative entrepreneur with several successful startups under his belt. He is a passionate believer in helping others live fulfilled lives, and contributes a great deal of his time and resources helping charities and other organizations bring dreams to life. http://ChrisMohritz.com