It’s a celebration more than 30 years in the making: in 1980, a 7-year-old boy received his heartfelt wish to be a police officer for a day. That one wish inspired the founding of Make-A-Wish® and launched the wish granting movement that circles the globe today. Beginning April 1 and culminating in World Wish Day® on April 29, Make-A-Wish chapters throughout the country will mark the special event with a campaign to raise dollars and airline miles to fund airline tickets for wishes that involve travel.
Each year, Make-A-Wish Central & Western North Carolina grants nearly 230 life-changing wishes for children with life-threatening medical conditions. These wish experiences can be pivot points in the course of a child’s treatment, making them feel better and in some cases, even helping them get better. A wish-come-true strengthens families, provides moments of happiness and inspiration, and helps create strong community bonds.
Nearly 70 percent of wishes require air travel, making it a critical – and costly – resource. In fact, approximately 700 airline tickets, the equivalent of 37 million airlines miles, are needed each year to get local wish kids and their families to and from these incredible experiences.
During the month of April, supporters can visit www.nc.wish.org/worldwishday to donate dollars or frequent flier miles in just a few easy steps. As an added incentive, WWE® Superstar John Cena® will personally match every frequent flier mile donated in April, up to 4.5 million. United Airlines will also support World Wish Day by matching the donations of its MileagePlus® members, up to 3 million miles, through April 30.
In honor of World Wish Day, the Charlotte Bobcats will present Make-A-Wish Night on April 17 at the team’s game against the Cleveland Cavaliers in partnership with NBA Cares. Cats Care has provided the opportunity for local Make-A-Wish recipients to participate as “Anthem Buddies” and receive pre-game fan experiences, including meet and greets with the team.
Several other Make-A-Wish sponsors are coordinating special World Wish Day promotions nationally, including Maggiano’s Little Italy®, Marquis®, Brooks Brothers, and Dave & Buster’s. The month will culminate with the announcement of a new, national sponsor.
“Air travel is a critical resource as we work to grant the heartfelt – and oftentimes very creative – wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions,” said Amy Brindley, CEO of Make-A-Wish Central & Western North Carolina. “Donating airline miles or dollars will allow us to continue creating thousands of lasting moments for children with life-threatening medical conditions.”
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About Make-A-Wish Central & Western North Carolina
Make-A-Wish® Central and Western North Carolina serves 51 counties in North Carolina from Burlington (Alamance County) to the west. The chapter has granted more than 3,000 wishes since its inception in 1985 and has never turned down a wish for an eligible child. For more information, please visit nc.wish.org or call 1-877-677-WISH.