Today, April 29, 2020, marks the 40th anniversary of the wish that inspired the founding of Make-A-Wish, the organization that creates life-changing wishes for children with critical illnesses worldwide. The initial wish paved the way for Make-A-Wish South Carolina to be created in 1984. Now more than ever, Make-A-Wish South Carolina remains committed to delivering hope to wish kids and their families despite an unprecedented number of wishes waiting to be granted. As a result, Make-A-Wish chapters and affiliates worldwide are using April 29, recognized annually as World Wish Day, to launch Wishes Need Stars Like You – a new campaign that rallies the collective star power of everyday people and corporate sponsors who help wish kids and their families when they need it most. The campaign serves as the first effort under the multi-year When Stars Align strategy, intended to highlight the past, present and future stars who align their time, talents and resources to make the Make-A-Wish mission possible.
Both the new campaign and the overarching When Stars Align strategy were developed in partnership with Team One, the pro bono brand agency of record for Make-A-Wish America. Make-A-Wish kicks off Wishes Need Stars Like You with the release of “Lasso,” a brand-new PSA. The PSA features a voiceover from actor and WWE® Superstar John Cena, who has granted more wishes than any other celebrity wish granter, in addition to a special re-recording of “A Sky Full of Stars” from award-winning musicians Coldplay. The cast of the PSA includes wish kids, wish alumni, volunteers and community supporters like Tony Adkins, a physician assistant at Children’s Hospital of Orange County famously known as “the dancing doctor.” There’s even a cameo from Make-A-Wish co-founder Linda Pauling, whose son, Chris Greicius, inspired the founding of Make-A-Wish when his wish to be a police officer was granted on April 29, 1980.
“While on set for the new PSA, I had a chance to reflect on the growth that has taken place at Make-A-Wish since the founding in 1980,” said Pauling. “All of us co-founders knew that we had tapped into something truly special when we granted Chris’ wish, but back then, we would have never anticipated the wish would lead to an organization that would bring hope and healing to more than half a million children with critical illnesses worldwide.”
A production team of more than 200 people supported the PSA in order to tell a compelling story that clearly and effectively conveys the essence of Wishes Need Stars Like You. Thanks to the generosity of Disney, the PSA was able to be filmed on the life-like neighborhood set of Golden Oak Ranch in Newhall, Calif.
The PSA and the overarching Wishes Need Stars Like You campaign center around the Make-A-Wish star that the public already associates with wish granting. Inspired by its logo, Make-A-Wish has created a glowing, blue version of the iconic star in the form of a glow-in-the-dark pin. The star pin is intended to be worn as a signal that everyone can be a star in the lives of wish kids and their families. Celebrities, influencers and supporters alike have already started to wear and share the star pin on social media with the hashtags, #WorldWishDay and #WishesAreWaiting. There will be other chances to display the star pin throughout the next year and the years to come, so people are encouraged to buy their own online. In addition, there is a digital version of the star pin available as a sticker to be incorporated into Facebook Stories or Instagram Stories.
"Wishes Need Stars Like You is a call-to-action to the shining stars all around us – the people and organizations who have the power to bring hope to children, families and communities who need it most. Together, they’ve helped Make-A-Wish transform countless lives over the past 40 years, but there’s still lots more work to be done before every eligible child can experience the power of a wish," said Richard K. Davis, Make-A-Wish America president and CEO. Misty Farmer, president and CEO of Make-A-Wish South Carolina, added, "We never envisioned a time like this- when Make-A-Wish is facing a situation unlike any other before in its history. But our mission won’t stop because we know there are kids who need and deserve a wish. To ensure that we are launching Wishes Need Stars Like You to help people recognize the power they have to be a shining star for wish kids because every child deserves a childhood."
Make-A-Wish South Carolina will continue to recognize the organization’s 40th anniversary for the next 12 months. Between now and World Wish Day 2021, many Make-A-Wish national sponsors will take part in the 40th anniversary alongside Make-A-Wish, including The Walt Disney Company, Macy’s, GameStop, WWE, ABC Supply, Allegiant Air, American Airlines, American Freight, Avis, Brooks Brothers, Fairmont Hotels, Frigo Cheese Heads, Keebler, Lokai, Marquis Spas, NowMobile, Party City, Petland, Southwest Airlines, Subaru of America, Topgolf, Torchy's Tacos, Trusted Choice, and United Airlines. Locally, additional support will be provided thanks to chapter sponsors of Make-A-Wish South Carolina, including Applebee’s Neighborhood Grill & Bar, Fins Car Wash, and SC State Credit Union.
Learn more and help at sc.wish.org.
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Make-A-Wish® creates life-changing wishes for children with critical illnesses. We are on a quest to bring every eligible child's wish to life, because a wish is an integral part of a child's treatment journey. Research shows children who have wishes granted can build the physical and emotional strength they need to fight a critical illness. A wish is granted every 34 minutes, on average, somewhere in the U.S. and its territories. Together with a community of donors and volunteers, Make-A-Wish South Carolina granted 209 wishes last year. The chapter receives funding through private donations, individuals, companies and special events. For more information about Make-A-Wish South Carolina, visit sc.wish.org and discover ways you can help make wishes come true.
Make-A-Wish, Make-A-Wish Foundation, the Make-A-Wish swirl-and-star logo, Wishes Need Stars Like You and World Wish Day are marks of Make-A-Wish Foundation of America.