Return to mobile version

Wish Impact & Facts

Wish Facts

Every fulfilled wish represents a unique collaboration between wish families, medical professionals, volunteers and donors. Wish granting truly is a magical, yet comprehensive and dynamic process.

The magic of wish granting usually begins with a referral call to the chapter office by a physician or social worker; however, the family or even the child himself may do the referral. A wish referral form is completed with relevant information about the child. After Make-A-Wish has been contacted, a medical authorization form is sent to the child's primary physician.

Upon medical approval, a team of volunteers will schedule an initial wish visit to discover the child's wish. Then chapter staff and volunteers work the magic for the child's wish to come true. There are four steps to granting a wish. Each step builds on the next to help create the amazing experiences that delight wish kids and their families. A wish experience is frequently a source of inspiration for children undergoing difficult medical treatments and a positive force that helps them overcome their obstacles.

A wish experience is often more than a dream come true: It's the catalyst that rekindles their belief in themselves and the promise of their future.

Most wish requests fall into four major categories:

I wish to go:

Some Make-A-Wish kids want to travel to their favorite theme park, while others want to visit an exotic beach, go on a cruise, or attend a major sporting event or concert.


I wish to meet:

Many want to meet their favorite athlete, recording artist, television personality, movie star, politician, or public figure.

I wish to be:

Children search the depths of their imagination when they wish to be someone for a day - a fireman, a police officer, or a model, for instance.

 I wish to have:

 Children often wish for a special gift, like a computer, a tree house, a shopping spree, or something that they have coveted for a long time.

Refer a child! Our wish granters create an unforgettable experience driven by the child's creativity. It's an incredible experience that enriches not just the lives of the children and their families, but often entire communities.



A wish improves children’s state of mind, replacing fear with happiness and helping them to feel like normal kids again. ”

— Wish Impact Study

Leila and Tomas

Leila and Tomas

Wish Impact

According to the results of a 2011 Wish Impact Study that surveyed wish parents, health professionals, and Make-A-Wish volunteers, a wish come true empowers children with life-threatening medical conditions to fight harder against their illnesses. When wish kids are granted a wish, they get more than just a great experience for a day, two days, or a week. That experience improves the quality of life for them and their entire family.

Why A WishHealth professionals treating them say the wish experience is an important adjunct to medical treatment, and they observe their patients feel better and comply more readily with treatment protocols when they experience their wish come true. And the community volunteers who grant wishes say the wish granting process heightens both their ability to see the best in others, and their commitment to actively help more people in need.


Improved Health Status

  •  Health professionals who treat wish kids, including nurses and doctors, overwhelmingly believe that the wish experience can improve a wish kids’ physical health.
  •  Most health professionals say a wish come true has the potential to be a positive turning point in the child’s battle for health.
  •  Parents and volunteers observe that a wish come true makes kids feel stronger and more energetic.
  •  Wish kids are more willing to comply with difficult, but vital, treatment regimens.
  •  Parents and medical professionals alike describe the wish experience as a frequent turning point in wish kids’ battles for health.

A combined 89 percent of doctors, nurses and health professionals surveyed say they believe a wish experience can influence wish kids' physical health.* 

Enhanced State of Mind

  •  Children and their parents alike experience more happiness and less fear in their lives.
  •  Children are less isolated from friends, and feel a return of self-confidence that comes with feeling “normal” again.
  •  They are empowered to take back control of their lives, and to keep up the fight against their life-threatening medical conditions.
  •  Parents say their family units – often strained to the limit by stresses of the illnesses – are repaired and strengthened through the shared experience of the wish process.

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. *


Strengthened Communities

  • Volunteers feel an increased sense of compassion and desire to help others in their community.
  • They feel a renewed faith in humanity. 
  • They trust others more and feel more optimistic about the future.
  • They feel a greater long-term commitment to philanthropy.

Ninety-five percent of community volunteers reported an increased sense of compassion and 84 percent felt an increased faith in humanity. *

* “Wish Impact Study Results – Second Phase: Jan. – Aug. 2011” (consolidated results), Nov. 2, 2011.


Darrien, 7, neurofibromatosis<br>"I wish to be a policeman."

Darrien, 7, neurofibromatosis<br>"I wish to be a policeman."

You might also be interested in ...

Upcoming Events


Wardrobe And Wishes

October 22, 2017

star burst

Brave The Bay

December 02, 2017

View all the events

Latest Status Update

  • 🎃 👻 💛 Strangers from all over the world are helping 7-year-old Wish Kid Brock celebrate his favorite holiday - Halloween! (Make-A-Wish Maine)
Make-A-Wish® Greater Bay Area
1333 Broadway
Suite 200
Oakland, CA 94612
(415) 982-9474