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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?

Get Involved

What are the time commitment requirements?
There are many different ways to volunteer with Make-A-Wish and all require different levels of time commitment. The majority of our roles, you can sign up as your schedule allows. When volunteering as a wish granter, there are a minimum number of wishes that we ask you to commit to each year. The timing of each wish experience can vary. Learn more about our volunteer positions. 

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 opportunities including helping at events, working in the Make-A-Wish office or organizing a fundraiser at school.

Do I have to contribute financially to Make-A-Wish to get involved?
No, you do not have to make a financial contribution to Make-A-Wish. However, for certain volunteer roles, we do require a criminal background check and the fee is the responsibility of the prospective volunteer.

Do wish volunteers travel with the family/child?
No, there are 62 other Make-A-Wish chapters around the country. When we send a wish family to another state, that chapter will help facilitate the wish.

How do individuals help in the wish process?

Our wish granting volunteers are instrumental in helping us get to the heart of a wish for a wish child. They work with a Wish Specialists, Make-A-Wish staff member, and meet with wish families at centralized locations to determine the child’s one true wish. They also provide wish enhancements once the wish has been scheduled to build on the excitement of a wish come true!

How do I become involved with Make-A-Wish Central & Western North Carolina?
Please contact our Community Engagement Specialist at (704) 339-0334 or for more information on engagement 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 Carolina funds are spent on wishes?
81.49% of all funds received go towards fulfilling wishes

How are the rest of Make-A-Wish's funds spent?
14.89% is used on fundraising, 3.62% is used on administration

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 (217 E. Tremont Ave., Charlotte, NC 28203).

Are you wondering how we spend out funds?


Make-A-Wish® Central & Western North Carolina
217 E. Tremont Avenue
Charlotte, NC 28203
(704) 339-0334
Toll Free (877) 677-9474