MORRISVILLE, N.C. (April 1, 2013) — It’s a celebration more than 30 years in the making: in 1980, a 7-year-old boy received his heartfelt wish to be a police officer for a day. That one wish inspired the founding of Make-A-Wish® and launched the wish granting movement that circles the globe today. Beginning April 1 and culminating in World Wish Day® on April 29, Make-A-Wish chapters throughout the country will mark the special event with a campaign to raise dollars and airline miles to fund airline tickets for wishes that involve travel.
Each year, Make-A-Wish® Eastern North Carolina grants nearly 200 life-changing wishes for children with life-threatening medical conditions. These wish experiences can be pivot points in the course of a child’s treatment, making them feel better and in some cases, even helping them get better. A wish-come-true strengthens families, provides moments of happiness and inspiration, and helps create strong community bonds.
Nearly 83% percent of wishes that Make-A-Wish® Eastern North Carolina grant require air travel, making it a critical – and costly – resource. In fact, approximately 600 airline tickets, the equivalent of more than 29 million airlines miles, are needed each year to get local wish kids and their families to and from these incredible experiences.
During the month of April, supporters can donate dollars or frequent flier miles in just a few easy steps. As an added incentive, WWE® Superstar John Cena® will personally match every frequent flier mile donated in April, up to 4.5 million. United Airlines will also support World Wish Day by matching the donations of its MileagePlus® members, up to 3 million miles, through April 30.
Several other Make-A-Wish sponsors are coordinating special World Wish Day promotions nationally, including Maggiano’s Little Italy®, Marquis®, Brooks Brothers, and Dave & Buster’s. The month will culminate with the announcement of a new, national sponsor.
“Air travel is a critical resource as we work to grant the heartfelt – and oftentimes very creative – wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions,” said Kristen Johnson, President and CEO of Make-A-Wish® Eastern North Carolina. “Donating airline miles or dollars will allow us to continue creating thousands of lasting moments for children with life-threatening medical conditions.”
Make-A-Wish® Eastern North Carolina grants the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions to enrich the human experience with hope, strength, and joy. Founded in 1986, the chapter serves all medically eligible children who reside in the 49 counties east of the Orange / Alamance county line. Our chapter operates solely through generous donations of individuals, corporations and foundations. With the help of more than 200 volunteers, including our Board of Directors, Make-A-Wish Eastern North Carolina has granted more than 2,600 wishes since its inception. More information is available on our chapter website www.eastnc.wish.org. You can also follow us on Facebook (www.facebook.com/eastncwish) and Twitter (@MakeAWishEastNC).
Jerry Peters, Director of Community Engagement
Make-A-Wish® Eastern North Carolina
919-821-7111, ext. 203