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Make-A-Wish® Central & Western North Carolina


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1980, a seven-year-old leukemia patient named Chris Greicius realized his lifelong dream to become a police officer. Many of those volunteers responsible for fulfilling Chris’ wish wanted to do the same for other children with critical illnesses. Thanks to Chris’ inspiration and joyous spirit, his volunteers and loving family created Make-A-Wish®, an organization that now serves families around the world.

Make-A-Wish® Central and Western North Carolina was founded in 1985 by Dr. Jerry Clark, an orthodontist in Greensboro, and the Nat Greene Kiwanis Club of which he was a member, in memory of his wife. We were the first chapter in North Carolina, and now cover 51 counties, from Alamance westward. Our chapter’s first wish was granted in 1985 to an 8-year-old boy named Jason. Jason’s one true wish was to meet his favorite football player, Miami Dolphins Quarterback Dan Marino.

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

  • Make-A-Wish Central & Western North Carolina has granted over 4,720 wishes since 1985.

  • In 2018, Make-A-Wish CWNC granted 385 wishes.

  • Children who qualify for a wish are between the ages of 2 1⁄2 and 18 and have been diagnosed with a critical illness by their doctor. They are not necessarily terminal; in fact, many wish kids overcome their critical illnesses and go on to lead strong, healthy lives.

  • Research shows children who have wishes granted can build the physical and emotional strength they need to fight a critical illness.

  • Every referred child who qualifies is granted a wish. A family’s socioeconomic status is never a factor in determining eligibility and the family is always included in the wish.

  • Wishes are funded from individual donations, special events, corporate donations and sponsorships, workplace giving donations, foundation grants, and Kids For Wish Kids. Frequent flier miles and used vehicles are also accepted as donations.

  • Of every dollar received, 81 cents goes towards granting wishes.

  • Make-A-WishCentral & Western North Carolina is part of the largest wish-granting charity in the world, with 60 chapters in the United States and its territories, and 41 international affiliates on 5 continents.