What is a wish? For children facing life-threatening medical conditions—and for their families as well—a wish provides a desperately needed respite from the exhausting reality of doctor appointments and medical treatments. For donors and volunteers, supporting a wish offers an opportunity to be inspired and moved to make something seemingly impossible…possible. At Make-A-Wish Greater Virginia, we believe wishes improve the odds for children battling critical illnesses—and we have the research to prove it. Wishes make sick children feel better. And when they feel better, they often get better. Our mission is singular: we create life-changing wishes for children with critical illnesses. While we grant approximately 180 wishes each year, we are only reaching less than half the estimated 400 eligible Virginia children. Your support will help us grant more wishes, faster. Why are wishes important? For many children, a wish marks a significant turning point in their battle against illness. Research indicates wish experiences can lead to increased emotional and physical health benefits and improved quality of life. Wishes are often transformative for the entire family, providing parents, siblings and the children with something to look forward to, and then something joyful to remember. Much more than a helicopter ride, a new puppy or a theme park trip, wishes can and do help children replace fear with confidence, sadness with joy, anxiety with hope.¹ Wishes bring families closer and impact entire communities. Parents often share that having the chance to participate in a wish experience helped the entire family come together in a deeply meaningful way. Wishes create an opportunity for parents, children and siblings to shift their focus away from illness and toward a sense of normalcy. It is the power of a wish that allows family members to share a unique, memorable, and once-in-a-life time experience. Wishes impact not only children and families, they reach deep into the community as well. Longtime volunteer Jim Donovan has seen this many times: “As a wish granter, there is nothing more powerful than watching a child get his wish. When they smile, you smile.” Wishes can be powerful medicine. Increasingly, medical professionals view wishes as an important part of a child’s medical treatment. The wish experience can enhance a treatment plan, building strength and inspiring a child to fight harder to overcome challenges. Rebecca Cooner, RN, says “Granting a wish is the prescription I want to write every day. If you can make someone better with something happy, that’s what I want to do.” Make-A-Wish Greater Virginia serves critically ill children across the Commonwealth of Virginia with the exception of the four counties immediately surrounding Washington, D.C., and the independent cities within. Since our inception in 1987, we have granted wishes for more than 5,200 Virginia children. The average cost of a wish is $10,000 and all funds raised benefit local children. Our vision is to grant the wish of every eligible Virginia child, but because of limited financial resources we are not able to grant nearly enough wishes. We need your help and support to change this. We invite you to transform lives, one wish at a time.