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Frequently Asked Questions


Doesn't Make-A-Wish just send kids to Walt Disney World®?
No, Disney wishes are just 56% of all the wishes we do. Other popular requests include computers, shopping sprees, trips to Hawaii, celebrity meetings and swimming pools.

What can a child wish for?
We like to say that a wish is only limited by a child’s imagination; however, some restrictions do apply to protect the safety of the child.

What if the child becomes sick again? Can they have another wish?
No, every eligible child may have one wish from Make-A-Wish. In addition, if a child has received a wish from another wish granting organization, they are ineligible to receive a wish from Make-A-Wish.

How much does it cost a family to have a wish granted?
There is no cost to the family. Generous donations make it possible for us to make this commitment to wish families.

Can the child’s family participate in the wish?
Yes, the wish experience extends to the entire immediate family living in the home, knowing that parents and siblings want to share in the magic, too.

Are all wishes publicized?
No, families can choose whether they will allow publicity of the wish. We always respect their requests in regard to privacy.

What if a child has special medical needs during a wish?
If a child has special medical needs during a wish, they are discussed with the physician and family beforehand and provided for by the Foundation as needed.

I wish to go swim with dolphins!

Do you have questions regarding wishes?

Referring A Child

How do you find the children?
The wish children are referred to us by their parents, physician, social worker, teacher or neighbor. Some kids even refer themselves. Anyone can contact us about how to refer a child to Make-A-Wish. But the family needs to be aware of and agree to the referral.

How old does a child have to be to have a wish granted?
The child must be older than 2 1/2 and younger than 18 at the time they are referred to Make-A-Wish Central and Western North Carolina to have a wish granted. 

Are all of the children terminal?
No, Make-A-Wish fulfills wishes for children with life-threatening medical conditions. A great majority of the children we have helped are still alive today.

What illnesses qualify a child for a wish?
Conditions that generally qualify children for our services include, but are not limited to, various forms of cancer, heart disease, Duchenne’s muscular dystrophy and organ transplants. Children with more chronic conditions like cerebral palsy, Crohn’s disease or spina bifida may qualify if their conditions are coupled with other complications and the combination is considered life-threatening.

Audrey and her brother in Hawaii

Do you have questions about referring a child?


How much of a time commitment is needed for volunteers?
Make-A-Wish does not mandate specific time commitments for any volunteers. Some wishes, like gift wishes, are quickly and easily fulfilled. Some wishes, like travel wishes, could take longer because the family travels on their timetable.

I'm not 18 years old. Can I still volunteer for Make-A-Wish?
Although all wish volunteers must be 18 years old to work on wishes, there are a number of other volunteer opportunities including helping at events, working in the Make-A-Wish office or organizing a fundraiser at school.

Do I have to contribute to Make-A-Wish to become a volunteer?
No, you do not have to make a contribution to Make-A-Wish to become a volunteer. However, you will have to pay for a criminal background check which is required by Make-A-Wish® America. 

Do wish volunteers travel with the family/child?
No, there are 61 other Make-A-Wish chapters around the country. When we send a wish family to another state, that chapter will help facilitate the wish.

Why are wishes handled by wish teams rather than individuals?
A two or three-person team provides a good support network when working on wishes. If one volunteer is busy, the other one can pick up the slack. And in emotional situations, it is good to have a wish partner to lean on. Finally, working in teams helps to protect volunteers from potential accusations of impropriety.

How do I become a volunteer?
Please contact Angela Lilley at (704) 339-0334 x221 or for more information on volunteer opportunities.

Dedicated Volunteers Shelley, Nicole and Sandra!

Interested in becoming a volunteer, but have questions?


How do you pay for the wishes?
We rely entirely on private donations from individuals, companies, foundations, schools and corporations. We receive no government funds or grants.

How much of Make-A-Wish Central and Western North  funds are spent on wishes?
82% of all funds received go towards fulfilling wishes.

How are the rest of Make-A-Wish's funds spent?
14% is used on fund raising, 4% is used on administration and as stated above, 82% are used to make wishes come true.

Does Make-A-Wish conduct telemarketing campaigns?
No, the Foundation has a policy against telemarketing because it is considered intrusive and not cost-effective. However, be careful of sound-alike organizations that conduct aggressive telemarketing campaigns. Many donors are confused and think they are donating to Make-A-Wish. They are not.

Will my donation help local children or will it be sent to your national organization?
Donations raised in our chapter territory stay local to help fund wish granting of children in our area. Donors can request that their donation be restricted to a specific geographic area, if desired.

Do you receive funding from the United Way?
While Make-A-Wish is not a United Way agency, we do participate in its Contributor’s Choice program in many of the counties it serves. 

Can I donate my airline miles to Make-A-Wish?
Yes. Your donation of airline miles can help us grant hundreds of travel wishes. To donate your miles, please click here.

Can I make an in-kind donation to Make-A-Wish?
Yes. The Foundation relies on in-kind contributions to lessen the cost of goods and services.  To make an in-kind donation, please contact our office at (704) 339-0334.

Can my financial contribution be tax deductible?
Yes. Make-A-Wish Central and Western North Carolina is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization. As such, financial contributions may be deductible for federal income tax purposes. Please consult with your financial advisor to determine the extent of tax deductibility.

How can I make a monetary donation to Make-A-Wish Central and Western North Carolina?
You can make an online donation specifically to our chapter, or mail your donation to our headquarters (1131 Harding Place; Charlotte, NC 28204).

Are you wondering how we spend out funds?


Make-A-Wish® Central & Western North Carolina
1131 Harding Place
Charlotte, NC 28204
(704) 339-0334
Toll Free (877) 677-9474