We haven’t seen our pal Bridget Doherty for several weeks and now we know why….. she was deciding to change jobs.
After 12 years with the Dignity Health Foundation, she had a tremendous opportunity to work for the Make a Wish Foundation as Director of Planned Giving. It was an emotional transfer, she said, but a great opportunity. Make a Wish works with families with children who have a life threatening illness. 30% of kids they work with pass away but 70% live well beyond the age of 21.
The caveats: 2.5 years to 18, have a life threatening illness, be referred by a physician or kids themselves and be medically cleared for what they want to do. Often families of these kids are devastated financially and emotionally. There are 4 types of wishes granted: I wish to be….I wish to have….I wish to go…..or I wish to see…
Bridget says 75% opt to take some sort of a trip as a family. So often kids become the personification of their disease…on a trip like this they can be their parents child, their sister’s brother and vice versa….they can just be a kid versus the kid with leukemia. Last year the organization fulfilled 365 wishes. This year their goal is to grant 380. Even 366 would be considered a gift. It’s not about the money, Bridget said, It’s about volunteers and engaging people.
The average wish costs $10,000 with $6500 of that received in kind services.
Since 1980 Arizona is a part of 65 chapters all of which stemmed from the first started right here in Phoenix, In her first 2 and a half weeks on the job Bridget is engaging kids and families and volunteers to see the “why” of what they do. It is clear to see she has received her message loud and clear and now can advocate for a cause she feels deeply passionate about.
There are 7000 individual donors and 500 are major donors. It is all about connections. 92% of kids ,when they find out about their wish, they change and are forever changed. For a time they are more vibrant, fight harder and become more themselves again. Congratulations Bridget!!!!