• 1 594 Wishes Granted
  • Fact Sheet

Quick Facts


Our Mission: Together, we create life-changing wishes for children with critical illnesses.


Our Vision: To grant the wish of every eligible child.

Who We Are

  • Make-A-Wish is a highly recognized international wish granting organization with affiliates granting wishes in 50 countries worldwide.
  • Make-A-Wish was founded in Phoenix, Arizona in 1980.
  • Founded in 1983, Make-A-Wish Canada consists of eight regional chapters and a national office.
  • Make-A-Wish Southwestern Ontario, founded in 1986, serves children in 16 Counties: Brant, Bruce, Dufferin, Elgin, Essex, Grey, Haldimand, Huron, Kent, Lambton, Middlesex, Norfolk, Oxford, Perth, Waterloo and Wellington.
  • Since our chapter's inception, we have granted over 1,500 wishes!

How it all Began

  • The inspiration for Make-A-Wish was a wish granted in 1980 to seven-year-old Christopher Greicius by members of the Arizona Highway Patrol. Christopher who had leukemia, wished to become a police officer.
  • In the fall of 1983, Make-A-Wish granted the first wish in Canada to Debbie, aged 13, suffering from leukemia. Debbie chose to go to Germany with her father and brother to see her grandparents.
  • In 1986, Make-A-Wish Southwestern Ontario granted its first wish to Ziyad, a nine-year-old boy whose health was deteriorating to a point where he could no longer speak or write. His wish was for a computer, which he eventually used to communicate.

Our History

  • 1980: Make-A-Wish is founded in Phoenix, Arizona.
  • 1983: Make-A-Wish Canada is established with a chapter in British Columbia.
  • 1986: Make-A-Wish Southwestern Ontario chapter established.
  • 1992: Make-A-Wish Canada, the national governing body and Make-A-Wish® International established.
  • 1993-2000: Establishment of five new chapters in Canada - Toronto and Central Ontario, Eastern Ontario, Northern Ontario, Northern Alberta and Southern Alberta.
  • 2001: Establishment of new chapters in Quebec and Atlantic Provinces (serving Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland).
  • 2004: Make-A-Wish Southwestern Ontario's Windsor Satellite Office established.
  • 2016: Make-A-Wish Southwestern Ontario celebrates 30 Years and 1,200 Wishes granted since our inception in 1986!
  • 2019: Make-A-Wish Southwestern Ontario grants its 1,500th wish!

Unique Features of Make-A-Wish

  • We ensure the wish is very personal, involves the family and is free from financial worries.
  • Make-A-Wish encourages the entire family to be a part of the wish experience, knowing that parents and siblings need magical moments just as much as the wish child.
  • We do not receive government funding. We rely on donations from individuals, corporations, fundraising events, grants and bequests to support our wish granting activities.
  • We do not participate in chain letters, door-to-door solicitations or telemarketing.
  • We do not solicit wishes. Wishes are referred to us through the medical community or the child's relatives.
  • We do not embark on "group" wishes. All wishes are individual and based on the child's chosen wish.


Additional Resources

Fact Sheet

The mission of Make-A-Wish® Southwestern Ontario is together, we create life-changing wishes for children with critical illnesses.

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Fact Sheets


Make-A-Wish® PSAs (Public Service Announcements) contain a powerful message – that helps viewers understand how wishes create strength, hope and transformation in the lives of children with critical illnesses.

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Annual Reports

Read our annual reports to learn more about our wish granting efforts, our corporate partnerships and our mission, and for up-to-date financial information about how we utilize your donations to grant life-changing wishes.

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Wish Impact Study

Learn more about the impact wishes have for wish kids, families, and everyone else involved in a wish experience.

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