The story of the Make-A-Wish® Foundation began when a 7-year-old Phoenix boy, diagnosed with leukemia, wished to be a police officer for a day. His name was Chris Grecius, and according to LuAnn Bott, President and CEO of Make-A-Wish® Missouri, he sparked a global movement. The community in Phoenix, AZ, rallied around Grecius, and in due time, this commitment to hope spread around the nation and across the Midwest.
“Since its inception, our chapter has granted more than 6,000 wishes to children battling life-threatening medical conditions in our territory,” Bott said.
Through the numerous programs, partnerships, and events, their constituents can range from fundraising groups, corporate sponsors, community partners, and even volunteers. Their community of constituents is all encompassing, and assists us in making the broadest possible range of wishes come true.
“We pride ourselves in bringing together our staff, donors, volunteers, and community in creating memorable wish experiences for the children we serve,” Bott said.
By using a global community approach, The Make-A-Wish® donor can include anyone who is willing to donate their time, money, or talent. Donors can range from police officers or community members helping grant a wish to a local child, to a corporation or individual donor sponsoring a wish and/or fundraising event. Donors also include volunteers who donate their time and talent to create life-changing wish experiences for the children they serve.
“Our well-known brand, and the work that we do, causes us to stand out,” Bott said. “Make-A-Wish® Missouri offers a life-changing experience, not only to our wish kids, but to their families as well.”
A recent study provides numbers that support her sentiment. The study was conducted on the impact a wish can make and found that 99% of parents reported the wish experience gave their children increased feelings of happiness.
Of those surveyed, 96% said that the wish experience strengthened their families. The study also found that a combined 89% of doctors, nurses and health professionals surveyed said that they believe a wish experience actually can influence a wish child’s physical health.
“In regard to measuring the effectiveness of our efforts, we live by a set of benchmarks set forth by Make-A-Wish® America,” Bott said. “These benchmarks are referred to as the ‘Benchmarks of Excellence.’”
These benchmarks measure metrics such as cost per dollar raised, program expense ratio, wish turnaround time and impact metrics to ensure that they are providing quality care to their clients.
Make-A-Wish® Missouri has created initiatives to inspire continued excellence in employees and volunteers. The “star player” initiative was recently created to assist in the formation of this atmosphere. With the “star player”, the chapter looks for staff members and volunteers who have a sense of passion, an unwavering sense of optimism, are self-empowered, inspirational, and remain child focused day in and day out.
Besides excellence, Bott strives to promote ethical integrity in the organization. She encourages employees to approach every aspect of our work with unwavering standards of honesty, transparency, and respect for wish recipients, their families and Make-A-Wish® supporters.
For Bott, the Better Business Bureau TORCH Award symbolizes this commitment ethics.
“Make-A-Wish® Missouri is honored to accept a BBB TORCH Award this year and will display it proudly for all to see,” Bott said. “We grant the wishes of children battling life-threatening medical conditions to enrich the human experience with hope, strength and joy. This award signifies our mission, and we are very proud of this honor.”
Make-A-Wish® Missouri, 13523 Barrett Parkway Dr Ste 241, Ballwin, MO 63021
President: LuAnn Bott
Tens of thousands of volunteers, donors and supporters advance the Make-A-Wish®vision to grant the wish of every child diagnosed with a life-threatening medical condition. In the United States and its territories, on average, a wish is granted every 34 minutes. We believe a wish experience can be a game-changer. This one belief guides us and inspires us to grant wishes that change the lives of the kids we serve.
BBB prepares profiles of BBB Accredited Businesses and BBB Accredited Charities as part of its TORCH Awards process. Make-A-Wish® Missouri is a winner of the BBB St. Louis 2017 TORCH Awards.