The Make-A-Wish Foundation is preparing to resume its charitable services of granting wishes to terminally ill children — with a caveat.
CEO Richard Davis announced in a video on June 26 that the charity will require all wish children, their siblings, and their parents to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 if the wish involves air travel or a large gathering. The charity will require that all participants be two weeks past full vaccination. While the charity won’t require proof of vaccination, it will require all adults to sign a “letter of understanding that certifies that they and any minors participating in the wish are vaccinated and fully understand the risks of traveling at this time.”
Wishes involving air travel and large gatherings will resume September 15.
In the announcement video, Davis didn’t clarify how terminally ill children younger than 12 (who haven’t been authorized to receive a COVID-19 vaccine) will be able to receive their wish from the foundation.
"We understand that there are many families whose children aren't eligible for the vaccine yet, and we also know that there are families who aren’t choosing to get the vaccine. We respect everyone’s freedom of choice," Make-A-Wish stated. "We will continue to grant wishes for all eligible children, including children who have not been vaccinated."
Make-A-Wish will work with unvaccinated families "by either delaying the wish or choosing an alternative wish that involves car travel or a local event."
"Any child fighting a critical illness is eligible for Make-A-Wish," the foundation continued. "While it does not reflect the majority of children we serve, we do occasionally serve children whose medical provider has determined that the child will not survive their illness. In time-sensitive situations involving an end-of-life diagnosis, a process is available to allow air travel or wishes involving large gatherings regardless of vaccination status."
"Above all, we remain committed to our vision of granting the wish of every eligible child," Make-A-Wish's statement concluded. "As we enter phase one of our reemergence plan, we thank you for your patience, your cooperation, your partnership, and your trust." Over 6,500 wishes have been granted since the beginning of the pandemic, regardless of vaccine status.
Article updated 6/28/2021