You've likely heard of the Make-A-Wish Foundation: The Arizona nonprofit has helped fulfill the wishes of terminally ill children since 1980. It currently operates in 45 countries and has 60 chapters within the United States alone.
Some wishes are more common than others. A trip to Walt Disney World is popular among children; many also wish to meet celebrities (pop star Justin Bieber has volunteered for hundreds of wishes over the years, as has wrestler and actor John Cena).
But some wishes are downright odd, as we learned once Redditor yatefart asked the online community, "Make-A-Wish workers, what's the weirdest request you've gotten?" Both Wish Granters and others close to the organization weighed in.
"I honestly don't know..."
I work for a non-profit that does Make A Wish fundraisers and we usually set up a wish wall that has a lot of pictures of Make A Wish kids getting their wishes fulfilled. I think my favorite one is one where a young boy around 10 wanted to shoot a car with an RPG and watch it blow up. They set him up with squad of real marines and a ballistics team in the LA desert and he absolutely got to blow up cars with an RPG for a day. His picture was him in his specially made marine camo uniform and helmet posing with the RPG.
I honestly don't know how they got away with it but that kid knew what he wanted and he got it.
"A big part of the job..."
Former Wish Granter here! A big part of the job is helping the child decide on their wish. The final wish has to be feasible of course so you're there to make sure it isn't too outlandish, but, in my experience, kids often don't initially think "big enough."
It was not uncommon at all for a kid to request something super small like going to Chucky Cheese, and we'd have to build the wish out from there.
Also we had to make sure parents didn't try to influence the child's decision, which I saw many times.
"When the dad heard..."
I've only done a few. The cutest one that's been requested is a trip to New York to ride the subway along the entire subway line and buy all of the model subways at the store.
When the dad heard, he rolled his eyes and said that they'd just gone to New York recently and said he expected either that or a visit to the zoo to feed the penguins. They were by far my favorite family to work with and a very loving, goofy one at that. We haven't done their wish send offs yet due to covid, so it'll be nice to see them again once this is all over. I hope when he goes on his trip he'll be treated really well by the subway conductors.
"One that made me laugh..."
I'm the parent of a Make A Wish kid.
When we went to theMake A Wish house for my son's star raising, they had a board with kids photos and their wish. One that made me laugh was the little girl that wanted to "hear Mickey Mouse burp."
My aunt works for Make a Wish and told me a kid wanted to meet Voldemort. Apparently the kid was of the opinion that since his cancer was terminal he should join the death eaters.
"I'm sure he had the time of his life."
Former junior genie. The vast majority of wishes are pretty common: Disney, wwe, trip to Paris or Japan. Because Make A Wish is locally funded (your donations go to your community), depending on your region, you can get some pretty fancy wishes.
So I wouldn't say this wish was weird, only that it was different. A kid was obsessed with Dukes of Hazzard and the car was going to be at a fair along with some stars. We threw everything at him and still stayed way within budget. He got limo to and from, a bunch of ride tickets and tokens for games, we got him special guest seating and one on one time with the stars.
I'm sure he had the time of his life. But altogether, it was a few hundred dollars and a couple of favors. If the fairs attitude when working with us was anything to go by, he was treated like an absolute king. I remember that case fondly.
It doesn't have to be Make A Wish but I strongly advise everyone to spend some time working with an organization that gives back. They're some of the best memories. It's very humbling and inspiring work.
Make-A-Wish Worker's son here. One time my dad had one of the kids he worked with request that they get feet pictures from some popular twitch streamer. Obviously he had to turn it down, but offered the kid the ability to meet said streamer but he turned it down. Only cared about the feet. Weird.
"The most common requests I'd see..."
I used to intern at Make-a-Wish Foundation in Pakistan. It usually caters to kids who are really poor. The most common requests I'd see were tractors, air conditioners and refrigerators. It just dawned on me that those requests were made by their parents. I don't recall any legitimate requests since they were very few and far between. I guess the farmers saw this as a rare opportunity to get access to nicer goods and I don't really blame them because they would break their bones working for a 5$/day wage (at a stretch).
"I work mostly..."
I am a Make a Wish mom (my son had his wish in 2006) and I volunteer as a wish grantor. I work mostly with the emergency or quick turn around kids. Kids who can't wait for their wishes. The weirdest request we got was from a father who wanted to travel to Mecca. There was no way for his toddler son with a brain tumor to go there or anywhere at that point. We had to delicately explain that this needed to be a wish for the son. We ended up getting a nice TV/video/audio system for their living room where the boy spent his last days.
"The actual captain..."
I was involved in making a wish come true for a kid. He wanted to be captain of a ship. So we had him aboard and someone had made him a uniform that fit. I helped build a step so he could see out the windows in the wheelhouse. And we let him captain the ship through the Welland Canal.
The actual captain wore his old first mate uniform and was in the wheelhouse the whole time actually in command. But the kid loved it. Especially the horn!
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