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Make-A-Wish® Greater Bay Area grants the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions to enrich the human experience with hope, strength and joy. Proceeds from the Make-A-Wish fundraising efforts are used to fulfill children’s dreams and create special memories for the entire family. Of each dollar raised, more than 75% is spent on direct wish granting costs.
Make-A-Wish® was inspired in 1980 by the love that a family and friends had for a seven-year-old boy named Chris who had leukemia. Chris dreamed of becoming a police officer for a day, and his family and friends in the state highway patrol made his wish come true – complete with his own helmet, goggles, badge and a regulation uniform tailored especially for him. Chris’ mother and those who helped to grant his wish created the Foundation in his memory, enabling his legacy to live on in the more than 234,000 wishes that have been granted since. The Foundation has grown into the largest wish granting organization in the world, with 62 chapters in the U.S. and its territories. America’s Greatest Brands Vol. 3 recognized Make-A-Wish, one of only three non-profit organizations, as “America’s Strongest and Most Trusted Brands.”
Make-A-Wish Greater Bay Area was founded in 1984. In its first year, a total of 27 wishes were granted. Now one of the largest nationwide, the Greater Bay Area chapter has granted nearly 8,000 wishes, including 378 wishes in fiscal year 2016. While the chapter follows the policies and guidelines of the national Make-A-Wish Foundation, Make-A-Wish Greater Bay Area operates as a separate 501(c)(3) organization. All funds raised by the chapter are used to fulfill our mission in the Bay Area.
Make-A-Wish Greater Bay Area serves 17 counties: Alameda, Contra Costa, Del Norte, Humboldt, Lake, Mendocino, Napa, Marin, Monterey, San Benito, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, Siskiyou, Solano, and Sonoma.
A volunteer Board of Directors representing our geographically diverse area governs the chapter. Board meetings are held six times per year, and in addition there are ad-hoc task teams and Board Committees organized around specific areas of the chapter’s operations, including our Advisory Council and Young Professional Advisory Counsel (YPAC).
The average cost of one wish is approximately $10,000 (including in-kind contributions). The chapter relies on in-kind gifts and services, financial contributions from individuals, corporations, clubs and other groups, special events, and car donations. Our chapter has received enormous community support through special projects, service clubs, fundraisers and private contributions.View Latest Annual Report
Make-A-Wish Greater Bay Area serves children between the ages of 2½ - 18 who meet our guidelines without regard to race, gender, creed, socio-economic or cultural background. The chapter is committed to ensuring that it never has to decline a qualified wish referral nor limit the scope of a child’s imagination for his/her wish due to a lack of funds.
GENERAL WISH FACTS
- Make-A-Wish grants a wish, on average, every 35 minutes and, on average, a child is referred for a wish every 28 minutes.
- Every wish experience is driven by the wish kid’s interests, creativity and personality.
- Make-A-Wish granted nearly 14,000 wishes in 2011 alone.
- To qualify for a wish, a child with a life-threatening medical condition must be older than 2½ years and younger than 18 (at the time of referral) and must not have received a wish from another wish-granting organization.
- A child can be referred by a parent or guardian, a medical professional, or by the child.
- Following referral, a certified medical professional must verify that the child has a life-threatening medical condition. There are no other qualifications based on sex, race, religion, socioeconomic status or any other demographic category.
- Make-A-Wish chapters serve every community in the United States and its territories.
- Make-A-Wish has more than 25,000 active volunteers in the United States.
- Make-A-Wish needs 2.5 billion frequent flier miles to meet all the travel need for wish kids and their families.
- Nearly 75 percent of wish experiences involve travel.
- The Walt Disney Company is involved in 40 percent of the wishes Make-A-Wish grants.
- The average cost of a wish is $7,500.