Make-A-Wish wishes postponed: seeks Messages of Hope

TRUMBULL — Imagine the heartfelt joy of a sick child learning that their lifelong dream of a family vacation to Disney World was going to become a reality courtesy of the Trumbull-based Make-A-Wish Connecticut.

Now imagine that trip getting canceled due to coronavirus. And imagine how an organization that grants wishes can keep kids’ spirits up with no idea when its own wishes of helping the sick and dying can come true.

That’s the reality that Make-A-Wish Connecticut faces — a record number of wishes are waiting to be granted because all wishes that involve travel have been canceled from the public and medical concerns of COVID-19, according to organization officials.

Some 77 percent of wishes involve travel, said Richard Davis, Make-A-Wish America president and CEO. As of March 20, 970 wishes nationwide and 40 wishes through Make-A-Wish Connecticut have been derailed. Additional wishes are being affected every day.

“The challenging circumstances have inspired Make-A-Wish to think creatively about how to bring hope and joy to Make-A-Wish kids during unpredictable and scary times,” Davis said.

On March 20, Make-A-Wish announced “Messages of Hope” to give supporters and the general public alike a way to help children with critical illnesses without needing to leave the house.

Make-A-Wish Connecticut is asking the public to spread hope and anticipation by writing, recording or photographing themselves delivering messages of encouragement for wish kids waiting for wishes that have been impacted by COVID-19.

Before sharing their messages, participants should consider a donation at to prepare Make-A-Wish to grant the unprecedented number of pending wishes once normal operations resume, Davis said.

The last step is to post the messages to any social media channel along with the tag, @MakeAWishCT and the hashtag, #WishesAreWaiting. Two or more friends should also be tagged and challenged because the more messages shared, the greater the impact on wish kids and their families, he said.

The announcement of “Messages of Hope” comes exactly 40 days before April 29, known as World Wish Day. On World Wish Day, Make-A-Wish will mark the 40th anniversary of the wish that inspired the founding of the organization with surprises and announcements. Until then, Make-A-Wish will spend the next 40 days highlighting some of the messages received on the official Make-A-Wish social media accounts.

“Messages of Hope calls upon people looking to do something positive and impactful during these uncertain times to bring hope and joy to children and families who need it most,” Davis said. “As we approach the 40th anniversary of the founding wish, there’s no denying that we are in the midst of one of the most challenging times in Make-A-Wish history. The time is now for the public to rally in support of wishes because every child deserves a childhood.”

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