Make-A-Wish San Diego has continued to grant life-changing wishes for local children with critical illnesses by finding creative ways to safely carry out its mission, even during the pandemic! Often, this means reimagining what a wish experience could look like without travel or theme park experiences; the organization has forged ahead by coming up with innovative ways to create meaningful wish experiences despite the challenges the world continues to face. The focus has shifted to wishes that can be granted locally and as a result, there has been a nearly 30% rise in “wishes to have” such as backyard makeovers, hot tubs, playhouses, above-ground pools, shopping sprees, and more.

Other popular wish requests include gaming and computer systems, which help kids stay entertained and connected, college scholarships to help ensure their academic future, camping trailers that allow families to safely explore the outdoors together, and re-designing outdoor spaces to bring the fun of “going to the park” to a child’s home. The organization was even able to grant 6-year-old Aegis’ wish to be an astronaut – an experience that included taking over a space command center, meeting a real astronaut, and getting a virtual spaceship tour.

Since its inception in 1983, the San Diego chapter has granted more than 4,600 wishes for children in San Diego and Imperial Counties. The organization seeks to bring every eligible child’s wish to life because each of them deserves a childhood filled with hope and joy. Research shows that children who have a wish granted can build the physical and emotional strength needed to fight their illness.

Although the pandemic caused Make-A-Wish San Diego to hit pause on wishes for travel and large gatherings, their pipeline of new referrals continued to grow. Currently, 350 local children are in the process of having their wish granted – which represents the largest number in chapter history. Your help is needed now more than ever. The organization relies on hundreds of volunteers and community supporters, which include individuals, corporate sponsors, foundations, and philanthropic groups in the San Diego and Imperial Valley communities, all of whom understand the importance of bringing hope to kids when it is needed most.

Wishes are still waiting, and they need stars like you. You can help ensure every wish comes true. Please visit www.sandiego.wish.org to learn how you can help create hope today.