Ohio, Kentucky & Indiana Chapter of Make-A-Wish recognized for giving most wishes in 2021
The Ohio, Kentucky & Indiana Chapter (OKI) of the Make-A-Wish Foundation granted more wishes than any other chapter in the country in 2021.
The chapter granted 539 wishes in total – with 80 given to patients in west Kentucky.
Officials with Make-a-Wish say the pandemic made granting wishes more difficult, especially those involving travel for immunocompromised children.
Katie Ferrell is a Director of Marketing and Communications at the OKI chapter. She says communication was pivotal in granting each patient their wish.
“The timing of the wish is just as important as the wish itself,” Ferrell said. “We relied on immediate family members, doctors and social workers. They stuck with us every step of the way. We are lucky to have these hospitals as partners”
Ferrell says more wishes are being fulfilled due to the decrease in COVID-19 cases, the goal this year being to fulfill at least 800 wishes. In 2023, the chapter hopes to grant 1,000 wishes.
“It's wonderful to see some normalcy coming back to our patients' lives because they already had the rug pulled underneath them from their diagnoses,” Ferrell said. “We love being able to have them focus on their wish and choose their wish. The future is very bright.”
The OKI Chapter for the Make-A-Wish Foundation serves 300 counties in its service area, which contains 14 children’s hospitals. The chapter has granted roughly 19,000 wishes since it was founded in 1983.