TORONTO – The Make-A-Wish Foundation is a children’s charity that is renowned around the globe for its work with sick children. The charity grants wishes to seriously ill children, providing them with hope, happiness, and quite frequently, bags of mischief.
The Canadian arm of the charity was established in 1983 and has since grown to have 8 regional chapters that make it their mission to make children’s dream come true across Canada. Recently, some of those have been stealing national headlines, such as the huge 48-hour bike ride that raised $1.9 million.
The foundation is making waves outside of Canada too, with some big names getting involved, generating millions of dollars for the worthy cause. In February 2017 game developer Blizzard announced that they would be donating $2.5 million to Make-A-Wish. This money was raised by selling add-on content, in the form of in-game pets, in their smash hit World of Warcraft game. This year, it was the turn of Mischief the Fel Kitten to steal the show and raise money for the charity.
Make-A-Wish Relies on the Generosity of Its Patrons
Many kids dream of meeting their idols, and Make-A-Wish cooperates with many celebrities to make this possible. One such case is Orangeville’s Jack Pereira, who has been battling a rare blood disorder and is set to meet soccer giant Cristiano Ronaldo thanks to the work of the foundation.
One of the most prolific supporters of the foundation is professional wrestler John Cena. Cena has granted over 500 wishes for the foundation, making him the first celebrity to reach the number. He was also the first to reach 300 and 400 wishes. Cena is continuing the tradition of the WWE of working closely with Make-A-Wish, with many wrestlers meeting with children. To date, the organisation and its affiliated wrestlers have granted over 6000 wishes.
Other top sports stars, including poker players, often make charitable contributions to the charity. 888poker’s Queen of Hearts feature, which recognises the most charitable women in the game, has highlighted Liz Lieu as a key supporter of the charity after she donated a large sum of her winnings to Make-A-Wish. Lieu has a policy of donating 20% of all tournament winnings to charity.
And it’s not just sports stars doing their bit, either. Pop sensation Justin Bieber has made over 250 wishes come true, including granting wishes in nearly every city he visits whilst on tour. This gives him the record of most wishes fulfilled by a musical artist. He has even gone above and beyond by performing at private concerts for Make-A-Wish children.
The foundation can only operate thanks to generous contributions, in terms of time and money, from celebrities, sports stars, the charity’s staff, and the general public. This allows the charity to make children smile all around the world, from working directly with patrons and celebrities, to partnering with with caring businesses like Blizzard.