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The Beginning of Make-A-Wish (1980)

It started in the spring of 1980. A 7 year old boy (Chris Greicius) with leukemia had a dream to be a police officer. Unfortunately he didn’t have much time left. Members of the Arizona Department of Public Safety were told of his situation and stepped up to make his dream come true.

One officer showed up in his patrol car. Another showed up on a motorcycle. Yet another showed up in the DPS helicopter. Chris was given a patrol hat and badge and became the first Arizona honorary DPS officer. The officers started to sense the difference they could make in this young man’s life. The next day they arranged to have a DPS uniform made especially for Chris. After giving him the uniform, they set up cones so he could qualify for motorcycle officer wings on his battery-powered cycle. The next day Chris returned to the hospital. He passed away the following day. All of this happened from April 29 – May 3rd, 1980.

This amazing experience hatched the idea for the Make-A-Wish Foundation. The initial donation made to the organization was $15. By the next summer, they had collected $2000, which was enough to grant the first wish to a deserving child.

Fast forward to today. More than 285,000 children have been granted wishes. A wish is granted on average every 34 seconds. Many of the volunteers happen to be past wish-recipients. It is such an incredible organization. And it all began in 1980.

Portions of this article were curated from the following:



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