Make a Wish (For Me)

YoYo Sine, Staff Writer

The Make-A-Wish foundation is an organization known for its charity, making wishes come true for children who have dangerous diseases. “Together, we create life-changing wishes for children with critical illnesses…  For wish kids, just the act of making their wish come true can give them the courage to comply with their medical treatments.” A lot of people view it as a good gesture, and it is, giving children this one last chance to do anything they wish, as the foundation’s name states, which is genuinely a good thing, however, behind closed doors there’s something darker behind it all.

In June 2nd, 2021, The Guardian published an article titled, “CEO of Make-A-Wish chapter admits embezzling from sick children’s charity,” the article details about now ex CEO of Make-A-Wish, Jenifer Woodley. According to the article, Jenifer pled guilty to theft and fraudulent practices, and, “prosecutors will recommend a sentence of five years of probation, along with fines and restitution.” 

Another article from People states that she had stolen $41,000, and gave herself unapproved bonuses and charged the credit card given to her by the foundation without permission, and making fake entries for the records. She was arrested in Polk County, though she was released under a bond. Although she was released it still doesn’t make up for the fact that she took money from the corporation.

A screenshot of a Reddit post shared by monie_25. (YoYo Sine)

There are also some cases when wishes were hijacked by parents, it’s understood that this really isn’t the fault of the foundation, however, there still should be some safeguards to prevent that. A reddit user by the username of u/abeannis made a post on r/askreddit, and, although the question was about, “wishes you HAD to say no to,” some people came out, and spoke about other stories from the foundation. User u/monie_25 says, “I had cancer when I was three and apparently had been approached by Make-A-Wish. Unfortunately I was only three and too young to actually make a reasonable wish so the wish fell to my parents…. they asked for furniture. FURNITURE!” 

Another user by the username of u/OhioMegi shares that her step cousin’s daughter was offered a Disney trip and they accepted, however, the father wouldn’t accept under the terms they paid for everyone in the family. And lastly, another story from u/Trashtvaddict79 shares, “My son was a make a wish recipient. He wanted to go to Europe. They were planning it and his birth father wouldn’t allow my kids to get passports. Great father huh. Son had like a 36 percent chance of survival from brain cancer and he said no passports.”

However, worst of all is when a wish is granted, but nothing is taken seriously, from the same r/askreddit thread from user

A screenshot of a Reddit post shared by ArbyLG. (YoYo Sine)

u/ArbyLG, one of his classmates got to meet with Sammy Sosa, A baseball right fielder that the classmate was a huge fan of, he was supposed to meet up with the family and sign autographs, however, he didn’t even respond to the family when they greeted him, signed one glove, and walked off. Just as they were about to leave, Corey Patterson, another baseball player, signed everything they had, and talked with the parents for half an hour.

All of these stories show some of the cruel quality of the foundation that happens behind closed doors. While some wishes are in the children’s best interest, other wishes can be tainted, leaving children upset and only benefiting the exploitative foundation itself.