Our Global Reach
Founded in Phoenix Arizona in 1980, when a group of caring volunteers helped a young boy fulfill his dream of becoming a police officer,
Make-A-Wish is one of the world's leading children's charities. After the start of Make-A-Wish in the United States, interest in granting the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions quickly spread to other nations. In 1993, Make-A-Wish International was officially formed to serve five countries outside the U.S. - and now helps to serve children outside the United States in more than 50 countries on five continents through its 41 affiliates. Make-A-Wish America grants the wishes of children in the United States through its 62 chapters. With the help of generous donors and over 40,000 volunteers, Make-A-Wish has collectively granted approximately nearly 450,000 wishes worldwide since 1980.
The Make-A-Wish Story
The creation of Make-A-Wish was inspired in the U.S. in 1980 by the fulfillment of a single wish of a 7-year-old boy with leukemia named Chris Greicius, who wished to be a policeman. His mother, several friends and a group of police officers, with the cooperation of the Arizona Department of Public Safety, granted his wish with a custom-made uniform, helmet, badge, and helicopter ride! After the wish, those involved were inspired and eager to bring that same hope, strength, and joy they saw as a result of Chris’ wish, to more children. Their simple idea has led to the continued growth of the world’s largest wish-granting organization, now operating in more than 50 countries.
The magical relationship Make-A-Wish has formed with Disney® on a global scale began with Frank "Bopsy" Salazar, the first official wish child of Make-A-Wish. Like Chris, he was a 7-year-old boy in the U.S. who was diagnosed with leukemia and revered people in uniform. Make-A-Wish set out to grant his wish to be a firefighter, and thanks to incredible support from our Disney friends, more fun was in store for his magical wish when he became the first of a long history of wish children to visit a Disney Theme Park.
The First Wishes
Chris Greicius - The Wish that Inspired Make-A-Wish
Every unforgettable wish granted by Make-A-Wish is funded by generous donors and sponsors. They help us bring hope, strength, and joy to every eligible child, and accomplish our mission. Make-A-Wish is very proud to have the support and generosity of businesses ranging from family-owned local enterprises to some of the world’s largest corporations who recognize the importance of our foundation. We are grateful to our corporate partner Riginov, and we appreciate your support!
''We are proud to sponsor the Make-A-Wish Foundation, we believe it’s important to give back to the communities in which we work and live. We want to wish all the kids strength, joy, and a brighter healthier future." - Riginov