How Make-A-Wish Is Creating Life-Changing Experiences

From being a mermaid to seeing snow for the first time, kids’ dreams are coming true because of the organization’s work.

Since Make-A-Wish was founded in 1980, the organization has granted more than 350,000 wishes for children with critical illnesses in the U.S. Children can wish for anything, from being a mermaid to seeing snow for the first time, and Make-A-Wish will work to make it happen.

Sebastian, a recent Make-A-Wish recipient, wanted to embrace his lifelong love of dinosaurs by experiencing what it's like to be a paleontologist. He got to live out his wish one day before undergoing surgery. While it was an amazing opportunity for Sebastian and his family, the experience was also eye-opening for the volunteers.

Credit: Make-A-Wish

“His wish was to be a scientist in the dinosaur lab. Just being able to fulfill that wish was a very fulfilling experience ourselves,” said Ryan Carney, assistant professor of digital science at the University of South Florida, which hosted Sebastian.

“It really puts things into perspective because we do this kind of stuff every day, and I don't wanna say that we take it for granted, but we are very fortunate to be able to study what we are passionate about,” Carney told NowThis. “Being able to share that experience and that perspective with a child like Sebastian is just such a wonderful experience.”

Credit: Make-A-Wish

Make-A-Wish says it is proud of its ability to be a lifeline for children and their families during difficult and scary times, adding that the impact of its work can be extraordinary.

According to the organization, 94% of parents report seeing an improvement in their child’s emotional well-being after a wish experience. Also, 91% of parents believe the wish gave their child a better chance of surviving their illness.

“It's just quite humbling to see the work of the volunteers, and the wish granters, and the donors all over the country, all coming together for one purpose of making sure that a child's wish comes true,” Frances Hall, vice president of mission advancement at Make-A-Wish America, said. “It's just amazing and such a humbling experience to be a part of every single day.”

Through the Subaru Share The Love® Event, Subaru and its retailers have helped grant more than 3,000 wishes for children with critical illnesses. Find out how you can help support Meals on Wheels during the Subaru Share the Love® Event by visiting