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Quick Facts

Our mission: Together, we create life-changing wishes for children with critical illnesses.


Who We Are

  • Make-A-Wish is a highly recognized international wish granting organization with affiliates granting wishes in 50 countries worldwide.
  • Make-A-Wish® was founded in Phoenix Arizona in 1980.
  • Founded in 1983, Make-A-Wish Canada consists of eight regional chapters and a national office.
  • Since 1980, Make-A-Wish has granted more than 500,000 wishes worldwide.
  • Since 1983, Make-A-Wish Canada has granted over 34,000 wishes to Canadian children.
  • Today, we grant approximately one wish a day across the country.


How it all Began

  • The inspiration for Make-A-Wish was a wish granted in 1980 to seven-year-old Christopher Greicius by members of the Arizona Highway Patrol. Christopher who had leukemia, wished to become a police officer.
  • In the fall of 1983, Make-A-Wish granted the first wish in Canada to Debbie, aged 13, suffering from leukemia. Debbie chose to go to Germany with her father and brother to see her grandparents.


Make-A-Wish Canada History

  • 1983: Make-A-Wish Canada is established with a chapter in British Columbia.
  • 1986: Southwestern Ontario Chapter established in London, Ont.
  • 1992: Make-A-Wish Canada, the national governing body and Make-A-Wish® International established.
  • 1993-2000: Establishment of five new chapters in Canada - Toronto and Central Ontario, Eastern Ontario, Northern Ontario, Northern Alberta and Southern Alberta.
  • 2001: Establishment of new chapters in Quebec and Atlantic Provinces (serving Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland).
  • 2019: On October 1, Children’s Wish Foundation of Canada and Make-A-Wish Foundation® of Canada joined forces, with the goal of granting the wish of every eligible child across the country. 


Unique Features of Make-A-Wish

  • We ensure the wish is very personal, involves the family and is free from financial worries.
  • Make-A-Wish encourages the entire family to be a part of the wish experience, knowing that parents and siblings need magical moments just as much as the wish child.
  • We do not receive government funding but rely on donations from individuals, corporations, grants and bequests to support our wish granting activities.
  • We do not participate in chain letters, door-to-door solicitations, or telemarketing.
  • We do not solicit wishes. Wishes are referred to us through the medical community or the child's relatives.
  • We do not embark on "group" wishes. All wishes are individual and based on the child's chosen wish.


Additional Resources

Fact Sheets

The mission of Make-A-Wish® Canada is to grant the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions to enrich the human experience with hope, strength and joy.

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Make-A-Wish® Canada PSAs (Public Service Announcements) contain a powerful message – that helps viewers understand how we strive to create hope, strength and joy in the lives of children living with life-threatening medical conditions.

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Annual Reports

Read our annual reports to learn more about our wish granting efforts, our corporate partnerships and our mission, and for up-to-date financial information about how we use your donations to grant life-changing wishes.

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Wish Impact Study

Learn more about the impact wishes have for wish kids, families, and everyone else involved in a wish experience.*

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