A Message from Sally Bateman, CEO, Make-A-Wish Australia
For 35 years, Make-A-Wish has brought our community together to deliver hope and happiness for families who need it most.
However, in the past six months, COVID-19 has challenged us in ways we could never have imagined. Our hearts and thoughts are with everyone who makes up the Make-A-Wish family, including our incredible volunteers, long-time supporters and the wish kids waiting all over the country.
With COVID restrictions now easing in most states, I am delighted to say we are now busy preparing a COVID-safe restart to our Wish Program. However, the unfortunate reality is many children's wishes will continue to wait given the impacts to the travel and entertainment industries, rising costs, and the vulnerable nature of the children we serve.
For our wish kids, that means Poppy can't live her dream of baking with TV chef Justine Schofield right now, Luka-Angel can't experience what it's like to act on TV, and Torin can't go fishing in Tasmania.
In good news, we have managed to safely grant some wishes since COVID-19 struck, including delivering Charlotte's fairy garden and Daniel's adorable puppy. Even in the toughest of times, it's encouraging to know these moments of pure happiness and joy are still possible.
Wishes are Waiting
Since COVID-19 struck in March, at least one child's wish has been delayed every day in Australia. For our people who are so passionate about delivering our mission, it's heartbreaking to see these wishes waiting, and we now have more than 800 Australian children on their wish journey, up 20% on a typical year.
But as we know, this isn't just a health crisis we're facing – the economic implications are still unfolding. The reality is we've seen a steep decline in our ability to fundraise since COVID began, with revenue dropping more than $2 million, while wish costs increase.
Without your help, critically ill children may be waiting for their wish longer than ever before.
Now more than ever, we need your help.
While wishes are waiting due to COVID-19, sadly, childhood illness is not. In Australia today, the latest medical guidelines suggest more than 9,500 children have a life-threatening condition. At the same time, thousands more are born or diagnosed with serious illnesses each year.
However, the magic of Make-A-Wish has always been in the power of people and communities coming together to support sick kids when they need it most. We have always made the seemingly impossible possible, and we're not going to stop now!
Our Melbourne-based Wish team has been working remotely since March, finding creative ways to ensure wish families are supported and to bring smiles to our wish children's faces.
You are the Wishmakers.
With more than 800 wish kids counting on us right now, we can still give the brightest of days to families who's situations won't ease when COVID restrictions do.
Right now, every donation matters and every dollar counts - moving each child a step closer to seeing their wish come true.
On behalf of the children and families we have the privilege of supporting, and everyone at Make-A-Wish Australia, we thank you for your ongoing support.
Wishes need your support now more than ever
Every dollar makes a life-changing difference to seriously ill kids across Australia.