Nearly 14 years have passed since I began granting wishes with New Hope for Kids. 700 wishes later, I still ask, “Was there anything else I could have done better? What will the long-range benefits be?”
Wish gifts, trips or experiences are better within a positive relationship between the family and Wishes for Kids. Beyond the gift is the heart of our “New Hope for Kids Family.” It’s composed of a variety of people, personalities and cultures making it interesting and diverse.
A couple of years ago, a wish was granted to a very shy and unassuming young man. His wish was to have a room of his own. His house had burnt down, and his family was sharing a home with a friend. I called a consultant who worked with a University of Central Florida team to make Johnathan’s wish come true. Here’s the letter that came straight from the heart of Johnathan’s father.
In the history of Wishes for Kids (aka Children’s Wish Foundation), three United States Presidents have granted wishes to our children. They’ve included Presidents Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush. Each President took time from his very crowded schedule to visit with a special needs child. This was a genuinely non-partisan agreement—to bring honor and happiness to a child.
It is always best to act when a door is opened…don’t wait around for your feelings to catch up, or you might miss something important.
Late in the summer of 2009, Greg, 17, received a gift worth more than the sports equipment and the gym membership he’d wished to have. The Wish Granters, a team of UCF students, “adopted” him. Greg confessed he was happy they had done so because he didn’t have many friends. That wasn’t entirely true, but his friends were driving, had jobs and girlfriends and would soon go away to college. Greg has epilepsy (aka seizure disorder) so many doors were closed for him. But new friends were always welcome!