Make-A-Wish Toronto & Central Ontario

Make-A-Wish grants the wishes of children living with life-threatening medical conditions to enrich the human experiences with hope, strength and joy.

Our Story What We Do

History of Organization

Make-A-Wish® Canada is a dynamic wish-granting organization that brings hope, strength and joy to children with life-threatening medical conditions. Along with the national office, eight (8) regional chapters grant magical wishes to children in need from coast to coast. Make-A-Wish Canada is an affiliate of Make-A-Wish® International. Make-A-Wish® is the largest wish-granting organization in the world, making dreams and wishes come true for more than 324,000 children since 1980. For more information, please visit www.makeawish.ca.

Accolades and Accomplishments

“Like many doctors, I was at first skeptical about how the granting of a wish could have an impact on a child.  But I have personally witnessed a change in the strength of many children – simply through the hope and the joy they derive from seeing their wish come true.  I now believe – and strongly encourage – the child and their family to think of a wish and consider Make-A-Wish as a way of helping them through their illness.”

-Dr. Eric Bouffet, The Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto

Our Programs How We Do It

There is power in a wish - a power that impacts all those involved in the wish-granting process. From the wish child recipient, the family as a whole, to the volunteer wish grantor and donors, the power of a wish is a magical thing to experience. Each wish is as personal and unique as the child who wishes it.

Wish Granting

What is a wish?

  • A wish can teach a sick child that anything is possible – even the future.
  • Wishes come in four main categories: I wish to have, I wish to be, I wish to go and I wish to meet.  Whether it fulfills a fantasy, creates an adventure or includes a celebrity or sports hero, there is one common goal in the granting of each individual wish - to bring hope, strength and joy to a child with a life-threatening medical condition.
  • Every wish is personal, involves the family and is free from financial worries. We ask the family to be a part of the wish experience, knowing that parents and siblings need these magical moments just as much as the wish child.
  • Make-A-Wish does not solicit wishes. Children deserving wishes are referred to us through the medical community, friends, family or relatives.
  • A child’s condition does not have to be terminal to qualify for a wish. Many of the children with life-threatening medical conditions who qualify for a wish go on to lead healthy, happy lives. It is the child’s physician who makes the determination of whether a child has a life-threatening medical condition.

Funding and Program Partners

Make-A-Wish finances its good work through individual contributions, corporate donations, Foundation funding and  planned gifts. The Foundation also relies on in-kind contributions to curtail the cost of goods and services.

Make-A-Wish does not solicit wishes. All children who receive their wishes are referred to us by family, friends, medical personnel or social workers. Sometimes, the child may even refer themselves for a wish.

Program Impact

A wish come true helps children feel stronger, more energetic, more willing and able to battle their life-threatening medical conditions. For many of them, it marks a turning point in their fight against their illnesses. For their doctors, nurses and other health care professionals, the wish experience works in concert with medicine to make their patients feel better emotionally and even physically.

Our recent research identifies the true impact of a wish:

  • 99 per cent of parents reported that the wish experience gave their children increased feelings of happiness.
  • 74 per cent of wish parents observed that the wish experience marked a turning point in their own children’s response to treatment.
  • 91 per cent of parents and 75 per cent of health professionals observed that the wish experience decreased their children’s depression or sadness.
  • 98 per cent of parents felt the wish experience gave them the opportunity to be a “normal” family again.
  • 96 per cent of parents said the wish experience strengthened their families.
  • 92 per cent of parents saw their children experience re-empowerment to take back the ability to make decisions in their lives.

Toronto's Vital Signs® indicator(s) addressed by Program

"One quarter (25.5%) of Torontonians indicate that they are sometimes or often limited from participation in activities by disability or illness."

(Toronto’s Vital Signs®, 2009)

Participant Vignette

“I always wished I could explain what a child with special needs or severe illness endures. There is no greater agony or torture than to watch your tiny angel sitting in the car on her way to Sick Kids Hospital and she is thinking she is going for a checkup and getting a sticker, when in truth, you know she is going to suffer through a delicate surgery and there is no way to explain this to her in a way that she will understand. Then your pain is so great (yet, not as great as the pain your little girl is going through) watching her suffer through recovery with tubes, wires, and monitors on every inch of her body when other kids are running around at the park, enjoying the sunshine, eating ice-cream, and your child doesn’t understand what she did that was so bad to deserve her pain – and all you can do is sit there hopelessly, unable to help.

The Make-A-Wish Foundation helped my daughter Kaitlin get her one-true-wish granted. I will never be able to thank you enough for helping her achieve her dream. Thank you again for all the kindness, generosity, and love you have given to Kaitlin, her sister Meghan and myself – we will never ever forget everything you have given our family.”

-Nicole, Kaitlin's Mom

What You Can Do

Wish Granting

Activities a donation will support

All our activities support our mandate to grant magical wishes to children whose lives are affected by life-threatening medical conditions. These activities are supported by our professional wish coordinators who oversee wish logistics and provide support to a fantastic team of volunteers who facilitate the actual wishes.

Donation impact

Make-A-Wish aims to allow a child and their family to take a break from being sick, to experience joy and happiness without the worries of illness, medical appointments and treatments, or surgeries.  A financial contribution will go towards making a difference in the lives of a wish child and their family.

Contact

Sheila Rees
Regional Director
416.224.9474 x113
Charitable Number: 895269173RR0001

Finance & Governance

Annual Operating Budget: 
$ 4,760,042

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