A Special Wish Foundation, Inc. was one of the first wish-granting organizations in the United States. Founded in Ohio in 1982, they are the third largest wish granting organization in the states and are now an international organization. Since their founding, thousands of wishes have been granted to qualifying children and hundreds of wishes are granted annually throughout the US.

A Special Wish Foundation is the only major wish granting organization in the United States granting wishes to qualifying infants, children and young adults from birth through age 20. Whenever possible, immediate family members are included in the granting of wishes to maximize the joy and memories for the child. A Special Wish Foundation offers their services to all qualifying children and does not discriminate based on race, gender, nationality or ethnicity.

The Chicago Chapter receives its monetary support solely from donations and fundraising efforts. They NEVER use the services of professional fundraisers nor do they solicit by phone for monetary gifts. The largest percentage of financial support comes from individual donations followed by corporate in-kind donations on a wish by wish solicitation basis. Additionally, they have partnered with Escrip and GoodSearch allowing support by people living their daily lives.

The average cost of a wish is approximately $2,000. Through active solicitation of in-kind donations mentioned above (for example, a hotel stay for a travel wish) they are able to spend less per wish and therefore grant more wishes. They have never turned a child down because they did not have the money to grant his or her wish! Over 90% of each dollar they spend goes directly to granting a child’s wish.


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