Granting a Special Wishes – It’s All in the Details

Granting a Special Wishes – It’s All in the Details

This article was published in Dayton Daily News on March 4, 2015

A Special Wish Foundation – Dayton Chapter (ASW) grants about 35 wishes per year and each one is as unique as each Wish Child. Whether it be a trip to Walt Disney World, a wish chosen by about 60% of children, a trip to New York City or a shopping spree wish, each wish is handled by the ASW wish coordinator. The wish coordinator is the face of ASW for our Wish Families from time of referral all the way through the child’s wish. It is the consistent smile, the friendly voice and ability to manage all the details that ensures each family a stress-free wish experience.

Once ASW knows that a child is medically-eligible and after the wish is approved, the wish coordinator begins the planning process. ASW works closely with each family to determine when the wish will be granted, taking into consideration their preference, as well as the availability of accommodations and other schedules involved in the wish. Transportation and medical equipment that may be needed and other accommodations needed for a child are all managed by ASW. The goal of ASW is to ensure the child’s wish is a once-in a lifetime experience without the worry of managing all of the child’s medical needs. They can travel with peace of mind, focusing on making wonderful memories as a family.

Many children wish to go to Walt Disney World. Nearly all children throughout the world who wish to go to Walt Disney World in Orlando stay at Give Kids the World (GKTW). GKTW is a non-profit organization that exists only to fulfill the wish of all children with life-threatening illnesses and their families from around the world to experience a memorable trip to all the attractions that central Florida has to offer. The GKTW village is a 70-acre resort full of many entertainment attractions, whimsical venues and lots of fun specifically designed for children with special needs. Where else can a child eat ice cream as often as they want, even for breakfast? Since 1988, ASW has been honored to be a partner of GKTW.

Other wishes can be more challenging to plan. Since it is the aim of ASW to grant a child’s wish, the wish coordinator and other members of the ASW team frequently reach out to the community at large to help. For Tim Brooks’ wish to meet a special effects producer, it took the cooperation of many people working within their circles to create this wish to Los Angeles, a trip that opened up a new world to Tim and his family. Often children request to meet their favorite entertainer, author or sports professional. So many of these celebrities have teams of people that help ASW take each child’s dreams to reality. Whatever the wish, the wish coordinator pulls out all the stops to create a memorable experience for each Wish Family.

The average cost of a Special Wish is $6000. Many aspects of a wish are given in-kind, but the funds required to pay for transportation, accommodations, meals, activities, and for souvenirs are raised through the generosity of the Dayton region. While ASW has two signature fundraising events each year, much of this fundraising occurs through events organized by third parties who want to be a part of fulfilling child’s wish. From volleyball tournaments to 5Ks, restaurant takeovers to golf scrambles, many Miami Valley organizations and individuals work on behalf of ASW, raising a large portion of ASW’s annual funds. ASW could not fulfill their mission without the generosity of individuals and businesses in the Dayton region. There are many ways to get involved and help make sure that each child eligible for a special wish this year can have their Special Wish granted:

MAKE A CONTRIBUTION - You can be a part of something special by making a donation. It is easy to donate on the ASW website at

HOST A FUNDRAISING EVENT - Penny drives, casual days, dessert auctions, bowl-a-thons, and golf outings, the possibilities are endless! Contact the ASW offices at 937-223-WISH (9474) for more ideas for your business or group.

WISH UPON A STAR - Star sales can happen at your office, school, or local grocery store! For only $1, you can make a difference in the life of a local child!

CONNECT WITH US – “Like” A Special Wish Foundation on Facebook, and follow Twitter and LinkedIn for all the latest updates on ASW and Wish Kids. Or, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to be added to our Monthly eNewsletter list.

HOST AN ASW AMBASSADOR - ASW can visit your business, organization, or club to speak about ASW.

ATTEND AN ASW OR SPONSORED EVENT - An updated list of ASW and other events can be found on the ASW website.

BUY AN AMERICAN DREAM RAFFLE TICKET - Each purchase you make and designate to ASW via code 500, gives back to ASW. More information can be found at

The mission of A Special Wish Foundation (ASW) is to grant the wish of a child or adolescent, birth through age 20, who has been diagnosed with a life-threatening disorder. Since 1983, the Dayton Chapter has been granting wishes to children and adolescents in Montgomery, Miami, Darke, Greene, Mercer and Shelby counties.