April 29th is World Wish Day, a day that celebrates the first wish granted by what would eventually become the Make–A–Wish foundation. To mark the day, Make–A–Wish is encouraging people to get involved and to help the group fulfill the wishes of children with life-threatening diseases come true.
Granting the wishes can get costly. Make–A–Wish spokeswoman Dana Antkowiak said it can especially get expensive when it comes to airfare.
"Our chapter needs a lot of air miles to make a lot of wishes come true because so many of our wishes involve travel of some kind," said Antkowiak.
Specifically, Make–A–Wish is asking for unused air miles from Continential, Delta, United, and US Airways.
"Once the miles are donated, they never expire, which is awesome," Antkowiak said.
Every year the greater Pennsylvania and Southern West Virginia chapter of the Make–A–Wish Foundation grants approximately 700 wishes to children. While the most common wish they get is for a trip to Disney World, Antkowiak says they grant any request they can, even if it has never been done before.
"A really neat one was a child wanted a synthetic ice rink," Antkowiak said. "And apparently there's this stuff that snaps together almost like Pergo floors, and its synthetic ice, it's not real, but you can skate on it with real skates. So we installed that for him, which was pretty neat."
Since 1980, The Make-A-Wish Foundation has become a global philanthropy, reaching more than 250,000 children around the world.