Make-A-Wish Thailand

by Expat Life
Superhero!

Terminal means incurable, inoperable, untreatable, mortal, deadly, lethal, fatal. Many of us have felt the pain and shock of finding out that a family member or close friend has a terminal illness. But can you imagine getting this news about your young son or daughter? Your niece or nephew? For too many families, this news is a reality.

In the moments of darkness, anxiety and sadness surrounding these diagnoses, there is a ray of hope. Since launching in Thailand in 2012, the Make-a-Wish Foundation has been putting smiles back on the faces of many of these critically ill children.

Elsa

For those unfamiliar with the Make-A-Wish Foundation, it’s an American non-profit organisation, operating in over 50 countries, that grants last wishes to terminally ill children who would not otherwise be able to have these experiences. It was started in 1980 with the wish of one American boy and the foundation has granted over 480,000 wishes to children around the world since then. As adults, we often forget the beautiful simplicity of a child’s desires. Many of the wishes are quite simple – a party with friends, a trip to the beach, a tea party with Elsa from Frozen. But the joy that they bring to these children and their families in a time of immense sadness is far from simple. It’s life changing. Without Make-A-Wish, these modest requests would be unattainable for the sick children and their families.

Wish

For children to be eligible to apply for the programme, they must be critically ill and between the ages of 3 -18 at the time of referral. They need to be referred to the programme by either a parent or legal guardian, by the medical professionals treating the child or by the child themselves. The applications are reviewed by the foundation who then grants as many wishes to deserving children as they are able to. Not all children’s wishes are granted but there is something we can do.Unfortunately, in Thailand, despite the many critically ill children, the wish programme has not taken off the way it has in America, the UK, Australia or Europe.

Lots of wishes have been granted but more can be done to help these kids. It’s well documented that Make-A-Wish is totally committed to using donor funds for the benefit of the children, not to carry inflated administration costs. The global reputation of Make-A-Wish as a financially responsible non-profit means that donors can be confident that their contributions are going to be used in a responsible manner.

Hapiness

Make-A-Wish takes their transparency a step further and shares photographs and documentation of the wishes with donors. Thailand is a hotbed for non-profits but Make-A-Wish has proven its value, stability and impact around the world making it one of the worthiest causes to support.


Besides financial support, there are several other ways you can help these kids have one last unforgettable memory before they pass. The final wishes of these kids come in all shapes and sizes so there are options for the average person as well as the multinational corporation to help. Volunteers give an extremely valuable gift, their time. Make-A-Wish needs volunteers who share in their commitment and passion to see these kids smile. There are three types of volunteers: supporting, cooperation, collaboration.

Supporting volunteers give venues or food to support the wishes. Cooperation volunteers work with the foundation to plan and prepare activities. Collaboration volunteers do activities along with the kids. Volunteers are critical to the foundation and you can apply to be a volunteer by writing to thailandmakeawish@gmail.com.

Granting these wishes does more than allow for some photo ops and a fun day out for the kids. These events have much further reaching effects. First, the wishes help children to replace fear with confidence, sadness with joy and anxiety with hope. The positive emotional repercussions are really important for the children’s mental state. Second, the wishes allow the kids to see outside their sickness, even if it’s just for a day, and feel like a kid again.

Children

This, in turn, brings a sense or normalcy and stability back to the struggling family. Lastly, forty years of research shows that wishes can improve the children’s quality of life and produce better health outcomes. Physicians agree, which is why so many medical practitioners support this foundation. The ripple effect of just one small wish being granted has positive effects on all parties involved. Children accepted into the Make-A-Wish programme would not be able to have these experiences without the hard work, donations and kind hearts of everyone who supports this organisation. If you feel compelled to help out in any way, contact Make-A-Wish Thailand and see how you can get involved with this worthy organisation. Grant them some hope and a little happiness, they deserve it.

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