A Special Wish Foundation Chicago Chapter

  • IL


PO Box 577248
United States

About Us

A Special Wish Foundation, Inc. was one of the first wish-granting organizations in the United States. Founded in Ohio in 1982, we are the third largest wish granting organization in the states and are now an international organization. Since our founding thousands of wishes have been granted to qualifying children and hundreds of wishes are granted annually throughout the US.

A Special Wish Foundation is the only major wish granting organization in the United States granting wishes to qualifying infants, children and young adults from birth through age 20.

Whenever possible, immediate family members are included in the granting of wishes to maximize the joy and memories for the child. A Special Wish Foundation offers their services to all qualifying children and does not discriminate based on race, gender, nationality or ethnicity.

Four Types of Wishes:

While every wish has a unique element, nearly every wish can be classified into one of four categories:

A Special Gift: New electronics, room makeovers or shopping sprees are just a few of the wishes we have granted. These wishes can captivate children and help take them away from the pain and uncertainty caused by their medical condition.

A Special Place: Whether it is a vacation to visit a special friend or relative, a trip to an amusement park or a journey to a new destination, ASW handles complete travel and lodging arrangements for the child and members of the immediate family. This includes air transportation, hotel expenses, meal allowances, spending money and all other aspects of the travel wish.

A Special Person: So many children dream of someday meeting their special hero regardless of whether it is a sports figure, government leader, music star or other famous person. A personal visit with their idol is an immediate morale boost for the child, as well as a memory they can cherish during unsure times ahead.

A Special Time: many families are overwhelmed financially by mounting medical bills and things that the rest of the population takes for granted seem daunting. We have hosted birthday parties, family reunions, even an engagement party for some of our wish recipients.


The Chicago Chapter receives its monetary support solely from donations and fundraising efforts. We NEVER use the services of professional fundraisers nor do we solicit by phone for monetary gifts. The largest percentage of financial support comes from individual donations followed by corporate in-kind donations on a wish by wish solicitation basis. Additionally, we have partnered with Escrip and GoodSearch allowing support by people living their daily lives.

The average cost of a wish is approximately $2,000. Through active solicitation of in-kind donations mentioned above (for example, a hotel stay for a travel wish) we are able to spend less per wish and therefore grant more wishes. We have never turned a child down because we have not had the money to grant his or her wish! Over 90% of each dollar we spend goes directly to granting a child's wish.