Make-a-Wish continues to work to grant wishes despite the coronavirus


MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – The Make-A-Wish foundation of Greater Pennsylvania and West Virginia area, is continuing to work hard to grant wishes despite challenges they face due to COVID-19.

The most recent wish it granted was to Reece, a 13-year-old boy diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukenia (ALL) this year. All Reece wanted was an online shopping spree, so he could get video game devices he never could have before, to pass the time sitting in the hospital.

“One of the big reasons Reece wanted a shopping spree was because he couldn’t leave the hospital like a lot of kids who are also in treatment,” said Jackie Auten, Make-A-Wish Greater Pennsylvania and West Virginia Regional Manager. “That gift was delivered literally to the hospital, so now, because of supporters, volunteers, and donors, we were able to grant that wish and he can play with it forever.”

Each child who is accepted in the Make-A-Wish foundation, gets a budget of $4,400. Reece chose a gaming laptop, PS4 and some video games to go along with it.

Make-A-Wish is limited to what wishes it can grant now due to coronavirus such as limiting traveling, meeting people and going to theme parks. These challenges however, do not stop them from working towards granting the wishes they can.

Since the coronavirus pandemic developed they have had to put several wishes on hold. This number has raised from 11 wishes waiting to more than 20 wishes waiting.

The foundation is currently putting all efforts into fundraising and recruiting volunteers. During this hiatus, it can take advantage of training volunteers, so when the time does come to make children’s dreams come true, it has an experience and prepared staff to do just that.

“We’re trying to get people signed up, get them trained while they are sitting at home, and you know they might not have anything to do,” said Auten. “Come learn how to be a volunteer with us, so when we do, pedal to the metal and we are ready to go, we will have volunteers who are ready to grant those wishes that are waiting.”

Make-A-Wish of the Great Pennsylvania and West Virginia areas have several virtual fundraising events coming up in April. For more information about those, and how to become a volunteer, visit their website or Facebook page.

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