Granting wishes for children with life-threatening medical conditions since 1980.
Make-A-Wish Arizona is simple in its mission: We grant the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions to enrich the human experience with hope, strength and joy. Your support, through direct donations, gifts of goods and/or services, and volunteerism, helps the Arizona chapter reach approximately 380 children yearly but work is still needed. More than 540 children in Arizona each year are diagnosed with conditions that would make them eligible for a wish. Help us reach every eligible child today.
Make-A-Wish Arizona is proud to be the founding chapter of the now international wish granting organization. Since that very first wish in 1980, when 7-year-old Phoenician Chris Greicius wished to be a police officer, Make-A-Wish Arizona has transformed the lives of almost 6,000 Arizona children dealing with life-threatening medical conditions. Make-A-Wish Arizona is consistently listed among the Best Places to Work in the Valley and as a top charity, state and nationwide, by Charity Navigator, Guidestar and the BBB.
Volunteerism and Corporate Community Building
Make-A-Wish Arizona volunteers come from many places. Some are individuals who work to make wishes a reality for Arizona kids. Some are corporate partners who volunteer their teams to support large community wishes. Some work behind-the-scenes, to make sure events and promotions designed to raise funds move smoothly. There is an opportunity for every person, any skill level, to add “wish granter” to their resume.
A wish is big. A wish is personal. Help make wishes possible.
Each wish experience is customized for the wish child, from their first meeting with their personal wish granting volunteers to the moment they learn their wish is coming true. We work with our families, our medical professionals, our volunteers and our donors to make sure we get it right; because a wish impacts not only the child, but is meaningful to everyone involved.
Make-A-Wish Arizona is more than a job
“My job is not really a job as I know that my day-to-day work creates long-term memories and has a long-term impact on our wish kids,” said Jennifer Gonzales, director of wish delivery for the chapter. “I also know that my work reaches beyond the wish kid, to their family, their community, even the donors and corporate partners who help to grant a wish. It’s a great feeling to know that your job, your role, has the chance to transform lives.”
The chapter employees 28 dedicated individuals; however, they cannot grant wishes on their own. Make-A-Wish Arizona is supported by more than 700 volunteers statewide. Volunteer opportunities are varied to provide the best possible experience for our wish kids and their families. You can find out more about volunteer opportunities at arizona.wish.org/volunteer.
Wishes are personal. “Each day, when Riley would see the progress of his room and discover new things, you could actually feel how happy he was,” said Kristie, mother of wish kid Riley, 11, who suffers from a life-threatening respiratory condition and wished to have a climbing room in his house. “So many donors and volunteers contributed to make Riley’s wish possible and the designers really poured their heart into this project. Riley now has a room many kids could only dream of and it’s a place he can enjoy every day, for many years to come. Thank you for giving my son a reason to smile.”
Wishes are transformative. “I’ve been singing my entire life, but it has always been small gatherings with my family,” said Nissa, 18, who wished to be a rockstar and perform live for a crowd. She lives with sickle cell anemia, a life-threatening blood disease. “When I found out I would be performing at Warped Tour in my hometown I was so excited! I couldn’t believe it! I’ve never performed in front of a crowd before so it was really nerve-wracking. But I already knew the words to all the songs so that made me feel more at ease. I’m so thankful for this experience.”
Wishes have impact. “We have to keep Xavier cooped up most of the time at home and on the ship we could just let him go free,” said Sandra, whose son Xavier, 10, a cystic fibrosis patient, wished to go on a Disney cruise. “This was one of those times when everything was just perfect and it was the perfect wish for him. Although we brought Xavier’s treatment and medication with us, it was an unbelievably fun escape where we could enjoy ourselves and think about something other than his illness. We were all so genuinely happy the entire time. Xavier’s wish made a difference.”