Make-A-Wish chapters nationwide face a record number of wishes waiting to be granted as a result of the recent need to postpone all wishes that involve travel due to the public and medical concerns of COVID-19.

As 77% of wishes involve travel, 970 wishes were immediately impacted with 30 more wishes estimated to be impacted each day. The challenging circumstances have inspired Make-A-Wish to think creatively about how to bring hope and joy to Make-A-Wish kids during unpredictable and scary times. Today, March 20, 2020, Make-A-Wish announces "Messages of Hope" to give supporters and the general public alike a fun, easy way to help children fighting critical illnesses without needing to leave the house.

Make-A-Wish knows that the anticipation of a wish-come-true can be a powerful motivator for wish kids to face and overcome the challenges in their way. Through "Messages of Hope," Make-A-Wish invites the public to bring hope and anticipation to wish kids by writing, recording or photographing themselves delivering messages of encouragement for wish kids waiting for wishes impacted by COVID-19. Before sharing their messages, participants should consider a donation to prepare Make-A-Wish to grant the unprecedented number of pending wishes once normal operations resume. The last step is to post the messages to any social media channel along with the tag, @MakeAWish, and the hashtag, #WishesAreWaiting. Two or more friends should also be tagged and challenged because the more messages shared, the greater the impact on wish kids and their families. 

The announcement of "Messages of Hope" comes exactly 40 days prior to April 29, 2020, known as World Wish Day. On World Wish Day, Make-A-Wish will mark the 40th anniversary of the wish that inspired the founding of the organization with noteworthy surprises and announcements. Until then, Make-A-Wish will spend the next 40 days highlighting some of the messages received on the official Make-A-Wish social media accounts. The messages will give wish kids and their families hope today so that they can look forward to tomorrow. 

"'Messages of Hope' calls upon people looking to do something positive and impactful during these uncertain times to bring hope and joy to children and families who need it most," said Richard K. Davis, Make-A-Wish America president, and CEO. "As we approach the 40th anniversary of the founding wish, there's no denying that we are in the midst of one of the most challenging times in Make-A-Wish history. The time is now for the public to rally in support of wishes because every child deserves a childhood."

Through "Messages of Hope," Make-A-Wish aims to build support for the wishes currently on hold due to COVID-19 because wishes can improve a child's quality of life and produce better health outcomes. More than ever before, wishes need the support of individual and corporate donors to grant the wish of every eligible child.