Who is the Founder of Make a Wish Foundation

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The Make-A-Wish Foundation is a non-profit organization that grants wishes to children with critical illnesses. The foundation was established in 1980 and has since granted more than 500,000 wishes to children across the world.

The foundation’s mission is to provide hope, strength, and joy to children facing life-threatening illnesses.

The founder of the Make-A-Wish Foundation is Frank Shankwitz. Shankwitz was a motorcycle officer with the Arizona Highway Patrol when he was introduced to a young boy named Chris Greicius who had leukemia.

Chris had a dream of becoming a police officer, and Shankwitz and his colleagues went above and beyond to make that dream come true. This experience inspired Shankwitz to create the Make-A-Wish Foundation, which has since grown into a global organization.

History of Make-A-Wish Foundation

A group of people gather around a table, discussing plans for a new charitable foundation. Charts and graphs are spread out, showing the potential impact of their ideas

The Make-A-Wish Foundation is a non-profit organization that grants wishes to children with critical illnesses. The foundation was founded in 1980 by a group of friends who wanted to fulfill the wish of a 7-year-old boy named Chris Greicius, who was diagnosed with leukemia.

The first wish-granting event was a trip to Disneyland for Chris and his family, and it was such a success that the group decided to create a formal organization to grant wishes to other children with life-threatening illnesses.

The Make-A-Wish Foundation was born, and it quickly grew to become a national organization with chapters in every state in the US.

Over the years, the Make-A-Wish Foundation has granted more than 500,000 wishes to children around the world. The wishes range from meeting celebrities and going on trips to receiving special gifts and experiences.

The foundation’s mission is to bring joy and hope to children with critical illnesses and to help them feel empowered and supported during their difficult times.

The Make-A-Wish Foundation has received numerous awards and recognitions for its work, including being named one of America’s top 100 charities by Forbes magazine.

The organization relies on donations and volunteers to make wishes come true for children in need, and it continues to be a beacon of hope for families facing the challenges of critical illness.

Also see: Who is the Founder of Make a Wish Foundation

Founder Frank Shankwitz

Frank Shankwitz is the co-founder of Make-A-Wish Foundation, a non-profit organization that grants wishes to children with life-threatening illnesses. He was born in 1942 in Arizona and grew up in a poor family.

Frank’s father was a truck driver and his mother was a waitress.

After serving in the Air Force, Frank worked for the Arizona Highway Patrol for 42 years. It was during his time as a motorcycle officer that he met a little boy named Chris who had leukemia.

Chris wanted to be a motorcycle officer just like Frank, so Frank and his colleagues made him an honorary officer for a day. This experience inspired Frank to start Make-A-Wish Foundation.

In 1980, Frank and his colleagues founded Make-A-Wish Foundation with the goal of granting wishes to children with life-threatening illnesses. Since then, the organization has granted over 500,000 wishes worldwide.

Frank has received numerous awards for his work, including the President’s Call to Service Award in 2006.

Frank Shankwitz passed away on January 23, 2021, at the age of 77. He will always be remembered for his dedication to helping children with life-threatening illnesses and making their dreams come true.

Co-Founders and Early Contributors

When it comes to the founding of Make-A-Wish Foundation, there were several individuals who played a crucial role in its inception. The organization was founded in 1980 in Phoenix, Arizona, and it all started with a young boy named Chris Greicius, who was battling leukemia.

Chris’s wish was to be a police officer, and thanks to the efforts of Officer Scott Stahl and several other individuals, his wish was granted. This experience inspired a group of people to come together and create an organization that would grant wishes to children with life-threatening illnesses.

The co-founders of Make-A-Wish Foundation are Frank Shankwitz and Tommy Austin. Shankwitz was a motorcycle officer with the Arizona Department of Public Safety, and Austin was a philanthropist and former owner of a hotel chain.

Together, they worked tirelessly to turn Chris’s wish into a reality and to create an organization that would continue to make a difference in the lives of children.

In addition to Shankwitz and Austin, there were several other early contributors to Make-A-Wish Foundation, including Linda Bergendahl-Pauling, Kitty Carlisle, and Ron Cox.

These individuals played a vital role in the organization’s early days, helping to raise funds and awareness for the cause.

Thanks to the efforts of these dedicated individuals, Make-A-Wish Foundation has grown into a global organization, granting the wishes of thousands of children every year.

Today, the organization has chapters in over 50 countries, and it continues to be a beacon of hope for children with life-threatening illnesses and their families.

Mission and Vision of the Foundation

Make-A-Wish Foundation is a non-profit organization that is dedicated to granting the wishes of children with critical illnesses. The foundation’s mission is to create life-changing wishes for children with critical illnesses.

Their vision is to grant the wish of every eligible child.

The foundation believes that a wish experience can be a game-changer for a child with a critical illness. It provides hope, strength, and joy to the children, their families, and the entire community.

The foundation’s aim is to bring smiles to the faces of children who are going through difficult times and help them feel better, emotionally and physically.

Make-A-Wish Foundation is committed to ensuring that every child, regardless of their medical condition, has the opportunity to experience the power of a wish.

They work tirelessly to provide the resources and support necessary to make every wish come true.

The foundation has a network of volunteers, donors, and supporters who share their vision and help them make it a reality.

Also see: Founder of Make a Wish Foundation

Impact and Reach

Since its founding in 1980 by Frank Shankwitz and a group of friends, the Make-A-Wish Foundation has had a significant impact on the lives of children with critical illnesses and their families.

The organization has granted more than 500,000 wishes worldwide, with the help of over 40,000 volunteers and donors.

Make-A-Wish has a presence in over 50 countries, with 62 chapters in the United States alone.

The organization has been able to expand its reach through partnerships with corporations, celebrities, and other organizations.

These partnerships have helped to increase awareness of the foundation’s mission and raise funds to grant more wishes.

One of the key ways in which Make-A-Wish has been able to make an impact is through its wish-granting process.

Each wish is tailored to the child’s individual interests and needs, and the organization works to make the experience as memorable and meaningful as possible.

Notable Wishes Granted

Over the years, the Make-A-Wish Foundation has granted countless wishes to children with life-threatening illnesses, bringing them joy and hope during difficult times. Here are just a few notable wishes that have been granted:

  • Batkid Saves the Day: In 2013, the Make-A-Wish Foundation turned San Francisco into Gotham City for a day, fulfilling the wish of a 5-year-old boy named Miles who was battling leukemia.
  • A Trip to Disney World: One of the most popular wishes granted by the Make-A-Wish Foundation is a trip to Disney World. For many children, this is a dream come true, and the foundation goes above and beyond to make the experience unforgettable.
  • Meeting a Celebrity: Many children have wished to meet their favorite celebrity, and the Make-A-Wish Foundation has made that happen for them. From meeting Taylor Swift to hanging out with LeBron James, these experiences have been life-changing for the children involved.
  • Building a Treehouse: One young boy’s wish was to have a treehouse in his backyard, and the Make-A-Wish Foundation made it happen. The treehouse was custom-built to his specifications, complete with a slide and a rope bridge.

Global Expansion

Since its founding in 1980, the Make-A-Wish Foundation has grown into a global organization, with chapters in over 50 countries. The organization has granted more than 500,000 wishes to children with critical illnesses around the world.

The foundation’s global expansion began in the late 1980s, with the establishment of the Make-A-Wish Foundation International.

This organization serves as a hub for all of the foundation’s international affiliates, providing support and resources to help them grant wishes in their respective countries.

Each Make-A-Wish chapter operates independently, tailoring its wish-granting approach to the needs and culture of its local community. However, all chapters adhere to the same guiding principles and standards set forth by the Make-A-Wish Foundation International.

Partnerships and Supporters

The Make-A-Wish Foundation has been able to achieve its mission of granting wishes to children with life-threatening medical conditions through the support of various partners and supporters.

These supporters range from individuals to corporations who have donated their time, money, and resources to help make a difference in the lives of these children.

One of the Foundation’s most significant partnerships is with the Walt Disney Company. Since 1980, Disney has been a major sponsor of Make-A-Wish, helping to grant thousands of wishes.

The company has provided everything from trips to Disney World to private screenings of Disney films.

Also see: Make a Wish Foundation

Financial Overview

When it comes to charitable organizations, it’s important to know how they are funded and where their money goes.

Make-A-Wish Foundation is a non-profit organization that relies on donations to make wishes come true for children with critical illnesses. Here is a breakdown of their financial information:

  • In 2023, Make-A-Wish Foundation received $374 million in revenue.
  • 78% of their revenue went towards granting wishes for children.
  • 8% of their revenue went towards fundraising efforts.
  • 7% of their revenue went towards management and general expenses.
  • 7% of their revenue went towards other expenses.

Challenges and Controversies

While the Make-A-Wish Foundation has been successful in granting wishes to children with life-threatening illnesses, it has faced some challenges and controversies over the years. Here are some of the notable ones:

  • Criticism of Wish Criteria: The foundation has been criticized for granting wishes only to children with life-threatening illnesses, leaving out those with chronic or debilitating conditions. Some critics argue that all sick children deserve a chance to have their wishes granted, regardless of their prognosis.
  • Misuse of Funds: In 2013, the Make-A-Wish Foundation faced scrutiny over its spending practices after it was revealed that its CEO at the time, David Williams, received a compensation package worth over $600,000. Some donors and volunteers expressed concern that too much money was being spent on administrative costs rather than fulfilling wishes.
  • Controversial Wishes: The foundation has granted some controversial wishes over the years, such as a 2013 wish in which a 5-year-old leukemia patient was allowed to become “Batkid” for a day in San Francisco. While many praised the wish as a heartwarming event, others criticized it as a publicity stunt that took resources away from other wishes.

Legacy of Frank Shankwitz

Frank Shankwitz, the co-founder of the Make-A-Wish Foundation, passed away on January 22, 2021, leaving behind a legacy of kindness and compassion.

Shankwitz’s dedication to helping children with life-threatening illnesses sparked a movement that has touched the lives of millions of children and families around the world.

Shankwitz’s passion for helping others began during his time as a motorcycle officer with the Arizona Highway Patrol.

In 1980, Shankwitz and a group of fellow officers granted the wish of a young boy named Chris Greicius, who had leukemia and dreamed of becoming a police officer.

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