We love the Make-A-Wish® foundation, so when Subway and Social Moms invited us to be part of the “You Share. We Share.” program, we were thrilled to take one day to talk about this great organization and how you can help it, and other local charities in your neck of the woods. From now through August 31st, SUBWAY® Restaurants are partnering with local charities to give back to their communities. When you eat at SUBWAY® Restaurants on the weekends this summer, a percentage of sales up to $100,000 will go to your local charity. In Los Angeles, that charity is the Make-A-Wish® Foundation. Learn more about the program here.
I want to share a bit about the wishes granted by the Make-A-Wish® Foundation of Greater Los Angeles. On April 1, 1983 the Los Angeles chapter received its charter and granted its first wish that month to 11-year-old Gary from Ventura. The simple “I Wish to Have…a VCR” was accompanied by a year of free video rentals. For the last 32 years, our local chapter has made some magical wishes come true…
While Chris, 18 years old, spent time in the hospital, he had the time to explore and refine his song-writing talents with the help of a music therapist. All the while writing lyrics and putting down tracks on his iPad, he was inspired by his musical idol – Ne-Yo. Chris’ wish to meet Ne-Yo resulted in a two-hour musical jam session in Burbank….listening both to Chris’ tracks and several un-released Ne-Yo songs.
Jasmine’s (10 years old) love of dolphins, the ocean and Hawaiian culture intersected when she made her wish to have a luau birthday bash. She had her own private cabana at the annual Alfred’s Beach House Tiki Festival complete with everything from hula dancing and ukulele playing to face painting and tropical ice cream eating.
At 16, Samantha from Pomona had a liver transplant. One year later, her wish to go to Liverpool to have a “Beatles Experience” came true when she boarded a plane for a once-in-a-lifetime experience. It took her a year of healing for her doctors to approve her international Make-A-Wish® travel and stamp her passport.
Alexandra, 15, wished to go to Antarctica during her battle with lymphoma. She wrote a beautiful essay about the experience that you can read here.
The Make-A-Wish® foundation grants wishes to children ages 2 1/2 to 18 who are confronting life threatening medical conditions. Some facts about the wishes they grant:
– Make-A-Wish grants a wish, on average, every 38 minutes and, on average, a child is referred for a wish every 28 minutes.
– Make-A-Wish has more than 25,000 active volunteers in the United States.
– Nearly 70 percent of wish experiences involve travel.
– As of March 2010, the average cost of a wish was $7,025.
– Make-A-Wish granted nearly 14,000 wishes in 2011 alone.
As of 2011, according to the Wish Impact Study:
– Ninety-nine percent of parents reported that the wish experience gave their children increased feelings of happiness and 96 percent said that the wish experience strengthened their families.
– A combined 89 percent of doctors, nurses and health professionals surveyed say they believe a wish experience can influence wish kids’ physical health.
– Ninety-five percent of community volunteers reported an increased sense of compassion and 84 percent felt an increased faith in humanity.
I am so moved by these kids’ resilience and the power these wishes have. So I implore all of our Angeleno readers to go eat a delicious sandwich at a locally owned and operated SUBWAY® Restaurants franchise (find your store here) this summer in support of this organization. Follow the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Greater Los Angeles on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube and learn more about SUBWAY’s “You Share. We Share.” initiative here.