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Frequently Asked Questions

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Who can receive a Special Wish?

Any child/adolescent, birth through 20 years whom a physician has diagnosed with a life-threatening disorder can receive a Wish. The child must be referred to A Special Wish Foundation by a parent or legal guardian, treating physician, health care professional, friend, etc.


The child must either live within our service area (Mercer, Auglaize, Shelby, Darke, Miami, Champaign, Clark, Preble, Montgomery, Greene, Butler, Warren, Clinton, Hamilton, Clermont, Brown, Highland, Adams, Scioto, or Pike county) or be seen at Dayton Children's Hospital.

Does the child need to be considered terminally ill to receive a Special Wish?

No. They do not need to be terminal. A Special Wish Foundation focuses on hope for a full recovery—a physician only needs to sign a form indicating that the child has a life-threatening medical condition to receive a Wish.


Will a Special Wish be granted to a child who cannot verbally communicate their Wish?

Yes. If a child is unable to communicate due to their condition, we work with family, other relatives, and non-family members (social workers, teachers, etc.) to verify the child's true Wish.


What types of Special Wishes do you grant?

Most Wishes fall into these categories:

  • Receiving a special gift: Laptops, shopping sprees, bedroom makeovers, playground sets, televisions, and even a puppy are some of the gifts we have given our Wish children .

  • Visiting a special place: We have sent Wish families to Walt Disney World and other locations in the continental United States. We've granted Wishes for vacations to see the beach for the first time and for trips to the Super Bowl, a Final Four game, and an All-Star Game.

  • Meeting a special hero: Sports figures, celebrities, movie and television stars, chefs, and political figures all have spent time with our Special Wish children.

Are there any Wish restrictions?

We are unable to grant wishes for such things as motorized vehicles, in-ground pools, live animals, travel outside of the United States and Canada, medical equipment, home improvements, or cash.

When should I refer a child for a Wish?

We strongly encourage you to refer a child as soon after their diagnosis as possible—but the only criteria is that a physician must have diagnosed the child with a life-threatening condition.


Who is allowed to go on a Wish trip?

Every attempt is made to include the wish child's immediate family living in the same house with the child. If the wish child is an only child, they are permitted to have a companion also participate in the wish. We also permit a nurse to attend if the child is in need of professional medical assistance.


For travel wishes, is there a specific time that the wish must be granted?

It is the wish child and family's choice as to the dates for a travel wish. Every attempt is made to work with the family's desired schedule.


Does the family have to pay for any part of the wish?

No. All expenses including travel, accommodations, food and spending money are paid by the foundation through donations, fundraising efforts and in-kind contributions.


Is the family's economic status a factor in determining the eligibility of a Wish child?

No. There is no income qualification requirement that a Wish family must meet in order for theit child to be eligible for a Special Wish.


Where does A Special Wish Foundation get its funds?

A Special Wish Foundation is funded strictly through donations. All of our Wishes are granted through the generous support of corporations and individuals who want to help grant Wishes for children with life-threatening illnesses.


Can my company or family contribute?

Corporations often donate through corporate giving or company foundations. Individuals also give annually or chose to donate to honor a birthday, wedding, anniversary, or in memory of a loved one who has passed away. Corporations, organizations, and individuals may also sponsor a fundraising event.


Are contributions tax-deductible?

Yes. A Special Wish Foundation, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit and all gifts, including monetary and in-kind gifts, are fully tax deductible, as allowed by law. Tax receipts in the form of thank-yous are provided by the foundation for all donations.

Have more questions?


code #844837 or ASWF

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