Walt Disney once said, “All of our dreams can come true if you have the courage to pursue them.” Dreams and Wishes are powerful things, especially during times of darkness and uncertainty. Unfortunately, some wishes are not coming true.
COVID-19 is severely impacting The Make-A-Wish foundation. Roughly 80% of wishes have been put on hold due to travel regulations and social distancing guidelines, as well as a lack of fundraising opportunities. Many of the Wish Kids need their wish to be granted because many are immunocompromised and would welcome an escape from COVID-19 anxieties.
Make-A-Wish fulfills an average of 250 wishes a year, that range from Disney Cruises to a new playground in your backyard. Now, about 30 wishes a day are being postponed.
“The majority of our wishes are currently on hold, which is changing the dynamic of our workflow dramatically,” Make-A-Wish CEO and President Mike Kallhoff told ABC News.
Instead of going to Hawaii or Disney, which were some of the most popular wishes before the pandemic, Make-A-Wish is urging families to get creative, so there are many more backyard events, room redos, and online shopping trips.
Despite challenges, the organization still delivers wishes. Six-year-old Maria from Phoenix, Arizona, a long time leukemia patient, made Make-A-Wish history by having the first wish that was entirely in Spanish. Abiding by social distancing regulations and masks, Make-A-Wish gave Maria a Princess Belle costume with hair and makeup and arranged for Belle to FaceTime Maria in Spanish. After the Facetime, Make-A-Wish gave Maria a small carriage with horses.
In August, a 19-year-old girl named Jasmine Konneker, who was diagnosed with bone cancer in 2018, was taken to her local Macy’s in a limo an hour and a half before it opened. With a red carpet laid out for her and a basket of Cheryl’s Cookies waiting, she was in for a day of luxury.
“I’m just really happy to have this experience,” Konneker said as she wiped away tears.
After the shopping spree, Kenneker had lunch at an Italian grill and got her nails manicured.
Seeing grace and selflessness persevere in times like these, where hate, division, and self-interest rule our headlines, is a reminder of our humanity. We seem to forget about the fragile magic of making wishes come true. The Make-A-Wish foundation is a reminder that we, collectively, have the power to realize dreams, whether for someone else or ourselves.