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Charity Event

Each year, NJ HFMA selects a charity for which donations are solicited at the Institute. For the 5th consecutive year, we have selected the Make-A-Wish Foundation® of New Jersey.

We will be fund raising this year with activities and Gift Auction in the Exhibit hall. We tried this format a few years and it was very successful. We have secured some wonderful donations for the Gift Auction this year. There will be several different gaming options to choose from. During each of the past two years and with the generous support of our members, we have been able to grant 2 “wishes.” It is our hope that we continue this strong level of support for such a worthy cause.

"The Make-A-Wish Foundation grants wishes to children with life-threatening
medical conditions to enrich the human experience with hope, strength and joy."

Mission & Purpose
The mission of the Make-A-Wish Foundation® of New Jersey is to grant the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions to enrich the human experience with hope, strength and joy. While our chapter follows the policies and guidelines of the Make-A-Wish Foundation of America®, we operate as a separate 501(c)(3) organization and carry out our own fundraising, volunteer recruitment and training, and program outreach. Our chapter's main office is located in Monroe Township, New Jersey and serves the entire state of New Jersey. Since its inception in 1980, the Foundation has grown into the largest wish granting organization in the world. Every U.S. state is serviced by at least one of 66 chapters, and 27 international affiliates serve countries and regions on five continents.

Population Served
As the third MAW chapter established, we serve children between the ages of 2 1/2 and 18 who are living with a life-threatening medical condition. Make-A-Wish grants wishes to all applicants who qualify without regard to race, gender, creed, socio-economic or cultural background. A wish referral may come from a potential wish child, the child's parents, the child's physician, or a health-care professional familiar with the child and his or her family. Eligibility for a wish is based solely on medical criteria established by the Make-A-Wish Foundation of America and includes a broad range of life-threatening medical conditions. Since our founding in 1983, the New Jersey chapter has granted over 7,000 wishes - ranking us among the Top 5 of the 66 chapters nationwide. In our first 19 years, we made dreams come true for more than 3,000 children, while in the last ten years alone, despite far higher wish costs, we have matched that and more by granting 4,000 wishes.

How Wishes are Granted
There are only three simple requirements for participation:

  • The child must be between 2 1/2 and 18 years of age.
  • The child's physician certifies that the child has a life-threatening medical condition, as determined by medical criteria set forth by MAWFA.
  • The child has not received a wish from Make-A-Wish or any other wish-granting organization.

Assuming that the above criteria have been met, the Foundation will then proceed with granting a wish only after receiving permission from the parents. Wish granting starts with one simple yet wonderful question that indulges the imagination and empowers the spirit: "If you could wish for anything, what would it be?" While every wish is as unique as the child who dreams of it, there are four common themes among the requests to Make-A-Wish:

I wish to go...to a special place, like Disney World or Hawaii to swim with dolphins
I wish to be...a firefighter, ballerina, model, or superhero
I wish to meet...a favorite actor, athlete, musician or other celebrity
I wish to have...a computer, a new bedroom-set or even horseback riding lessons

Statement of Need and Benefits
Though the numbers of wishes increase each year, there are still more children in New Jersey, living with a life-threatening illness, that deserve to experience the power of a wish. According to a study conducted by our national office, approximately 800 New Jersey children will be diagnosed with a life-threatening medical condition in 2011 and that number will steadily increase each year. Our goal is to ensure that we never have to deny a child their fondest wish because of lack of funding.

Perhaps the single greatest measure of our accomplishment comes from the hundreds of letters, drawings and cards we receive almost every day from wish children and their families. These treasures confirm our belief that the power of a wish is immense. Below are excerpts from thank you letters that we recently received from wish children:

"A sincere and heartfelt THANK YOU to all that contributed both financially and of their own time, to making the trip possible. Just as Maggie's two sisters witnessed so many things during Maggie’s illness; it brought joy to our heats as we watched all three simply enjoy each other's company during this trip. Again, it did so much in helping us all move past the unfortunate events and memories (prognosis, chemotherapies and surgeries) of the past two years." - Jeff, Maggie's Dad and family.

"I can't begin to tell you how wonderful our Make-A-Wish trip was…Joshua never stopped smiling. In these trying economic times, the financial strains that approach your foundation every year have not stopped your diligence in providing a child with a day or week of an escape from the world they now know; a world full of pain, depression, limitations and a constant fight to have normalcy in their lives. Please extend our heartfelt gratitude for all the work put into granting this wish." - Virginia, Joshua's Mom and family.

On an organizational level, the Make-A-Wish Board of Directors and staff convene bi-monthly to evaluate our own work and to discuss ways in which we can expand our reach into the community, increase our capacity to raise additional funds and continue to grant increasing numbers of wishes. At the conclusion of each wish granted in New Jersey, the Make-A-Wish Foundation® of New Jersey asks that the wish family and the volunteers assigned to the wish, fill out a questionnaire to assess the quality of the wish experience. Wish family satisfaction consistently has averaged 99%. Similarly, the volunteers are asked to rate the wish experience and overall satisfaction with the wish experience. Our average score from the volunteers has been 96%.

For more information about the Make-A-Wish Foundation® of New Jersey, please visit www.nj.wish.org or call them at (800)252-9474 today!