Children’s Wish Foundation and Make-A-Wish® Canada Announce Merger to Grant More Wishes to Children Across Canada

United organization will have the ability to grant 25 per cent more wishes each year

TORONTO, October 2, 2019 – Today, Children’s Wish Foundation of Canada and Make-A-Wish Foundation® of Canada announced that the two charities are merging with the goal of granting the wish of every eligible child across the country. United as Make-A-Wish® Canada, the organization will have the ability to make a greater difference in the communities it supports, increasing its ability to grant wishes for children with life-threatening illnesses by 25 per cent more each year.

“This is a significant and exciting time as our two organizations join forces on a quest to bring every eligible child’s wish to life,“ said Michele Augert, Chair of the Inaugural Board of the united organization. We applaud the vision and leadership of both legacy organizations for taking such extraordinary steps to make us one, united and strong team ready to revolutionize and grow wish granting in this country.”

Both organizations have long operated independently with similar guiding missions, visions and values; and every year have provided hundreds of children with life-threatening illnesses the opportunity to realize their most heartfelt wish, giving them the strength to endure their treatments and build resilience. The union is the result of extensive, collaborative and thoughtful planning involving expert advisors and leadership from both organizations. The integration will take place in a phased approach over the next 12 to 24 months.

Together, the organizations aim to grant approximately 2,600 wishes in 2022, which is approximately 1,000 more wishes than granted independently in 2018.

“We are bringing together our collective best practices, relationships and strengths, making us stronger than ever and able to serve even more children and their families,” said Chris Kotsopoulos, Co-CEO of the new combined organization. “With up to 6,000 children in Canada facing a critical illness and complex medical needs each year, this is an important step toward our goal of ensuring every eligible child’s life-changing wish is granted.” states Jennifer Klotz-Ritter, also Co-CEO of the united organization.

A wish is an integral part of a child's treatment journey and research shows a wish can give kids the strength to fight against, and even overcome a critical illness. Results from a Wish Impact Study that surveyed parents, health professionals, and volunteers, show that a wish-come-true empowers children to fight harder against their critical illnesses. 71 per cent of adult former wish kids believe the wish experience contributed to saving their lives.

“In Canada’s crowded charitable sector, it’s great to see two organizations with similar missions come together to have an even greater impact on our communities.” said Bruce MacDonald, President & CEO, Imagine Canada, a national organization that strengthens and supports Canadian charities and not-for-profits. “This is a great example of how charities can take a creative approach to putting recipients first to make a real long-term difference.”

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About Our Legacy Organizations

Children’s Wish Foundation of Canada

Children’s Wish Foundation of Canada is the largest Canadian wish granting charity dedicated to granting wishes to Canadian children between the ages of 3 and 17 who are diagnosed with a life-threatening illness. For more than 30 years, Children’s Wish has worked tirelessly to grant heartfelt wishes to more than 25,000 children and their families – that’s three wishes each day, all year long!

Make-A-Wish Foundation® of Canada

Make-A-Wish® creates life-changing wishes for children with critical illnesses. Make-A-Wish is the world’s leading children’s wish-granting organization, serving children in every community in Canada, and in more than 50 countries worldwide. Make-A-Wish granted more than 30,000 wishes globally in 2018 and has granted nearly 480,000 wishes worldwide since 1980.

Media Contacts

Andrew Burditt

National Director, Development & Marketing

Children's Wish Foundation of Canada

Tel: 647-725-6122

Julie Fiorini

VP, Marketing & Development

Make-A-Wish Canada

Tel: 1-888-822-9474 ext. 6104 | Cell: 647.823.7969