Make-A-Wish needs community support now more than ever

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FOX VALLEY, Wis. (WBAY) - Each year, Make-A-Wish grants between 70 to 90 wishes to kids with life threatening illnesses in Northeast Wisconsin. The organization, statewide, currently has more than 400 wishes pending, the most it's ever had. With so many open wishes, officials with Make-A-Wish say it organization says it needs the community support now more than ever.

From trips of a lifetime to home bakeries, Make-A-Wish makes dreams come true for kids with critical illnesses. But, because of the coronavirus, all travel wishes are currently on hold.

According to Kris Teofilo from Make-A-Wish, "The health and safety of our Wish Kids and their families is a top priority for us, of course. So that impacts more than 70 wish kids and counting and once this threat is behind us, we will have a very large number of wishes to grant at an unprecedented pace."

Granting those wishes, in such a short amount of time, will present a financial challenge for Make-A-Wish, especially since this pandemic is happening now, in spring, the busiest fundraising season for the organization.

Teofilo adds, "We definitely need donations more than ever before so that our precious kids don't have to wait any longer for their wishes to be granted once this crisis is behind us."

Locally, Make-A-Wish has already had to postpone its "Gourmet Wishes" event in June. And Thursday night's "Wish Gala" in Milwaukee has been changed to a virtual event on the Make-A-Wish Wisconsin Facebook page starting at 7p.m.. The gala is the organization's biggest fundraiser of the year, so organizers are hoping it's just as successful online - with a bigger audience.

"There are many wonderful silent auction items and unique items to bid on as well as many other great way to get involved and help make life changing wishes come true for local children," says Teofilo.

With wishes on hold, for now, Make-A-Wish is asking people to post encouraging messages on Facebook, tagging Make-A-Wish Wisconsin for kids waiting for wishes to be granted.