While each wish-granting experience is unique for the child, their family and the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Central and Western North Carolina, there is a general process by which a child is referred, qualified and granted a wish.
First Step - Wish Referral
The Make-A-Wish Foundation of Central and Western North Carolina only accepts wish referrals from one of the following referral sources:
1. A medical professional treating the child, such as a doctor, nurse, social worker or child-life specialist.
2. The child's parent(s) or guardian(s).
3. The child
If you are one of the referral sources listed above, please visit our referal section to refer a child.
If the initial call comes from someone other than those listed above, we always ask that the family be notified to call directly on their own behalf.
Second Step - Determining Eligibility
A child who is between the ages of 2 1/2 and 18, and who has been diagnosed with a life-threatening medical condition is eligible for a wish. The child's treating physician makes the final determination of whether the child is medically eligible to receive a wish and whether the child is able to participate in the wish.
The child must be able to identify a wish. In cases of children who are non-verbal wishes can be determined with the assistance of the child's family, teachers, social workers and medical professionals. A child cannot have received a prior wish from any other wish-granting organization.
Third Step - Identifying the Wish
After the doctor confirms that the child is medically eligible, the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Central and Western North Carolina assigns wish granters to coordinate the wish-granting process. When wish granters first visit with a child, they begin by asking a simple question: If you could have one wish, what would it be?
Most wishes fall into one of four categories:
I wish to go to...
I wish to be...
I wish to meet...
I wish to have....
Some children wish to meet celebrities, such as their favorite movie stars, singers or athletes. Others may wish for special gifts, such as a puppy, a computer or a tree house.
Fourth Step - Granting the Wish
Once the chosen wish has been approved by the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Central and Western North Carolina and the child's physician, the wish granters and the wish staff set out to create a magical experience for the child and their immediate family. The wish experience often touches dozens, and sometimes hundreds of people who either help coordinate or are directly involved in the wish.
If you would like more information on the wish process, contact our Charlotte office at (704) 339-0334 or 1-877-677-WISH (9474).
The fulfillment of a wish creates a moment of joy at a time that can be very difficult for a child and his or her family. Every effort is made to include the immediate family in the childs' wish, because watching a dream come true creates magic for them as well - along with the special memories that just may have to last forever.