This text is part of the special section Philanthropy
Since 1983, she has fulfilled the dreams of more than 37,000 seriously ill Canadian children.
If the Children’s Wish Foundation is proud of the progress made, its artisans already have their eyes and hearts turned towards the future: this year alone, in Quebec, the team wishes to grant more than 500 dreams.
Inspired by what had been done in the United States since 1980, Nigel Brown and Robb Lucy, both originally from British Columbia, founded the first Canadian section in 1983. “Thereafter, a first office in Quebec will be opened in 2001 and, in 2019, the Children’s Wish Foundation will be officially merged with that of Make-A-Wish”, explains in an interview Alexis Gaiptman, vice-president in Quebec of the foundation.
To mark its 40th anniversary, at the end of April the Foundation had many monuments across the country illuminated in blue, including, in Quebec, the Olympic Park, the Grande Roue de Montréal and the Château Frontenac. The blue was intended as a nod to the colors of the Foundation, but also to one of the first wishes granted for a Quebec child who had dreamed of meeting a rare species of blue butterfly, whose shot a movie released in 2004.
Alexis Gaiptman is proud of the Foundation’s past accomplishments, which granted more than 1,000 dreams in Canada last year, including 134 in Quebec. The vice-president in Quebec is however resolutely turned towards the future: “The idea is to give ourselves the means to continue to realize as many dreams as possible. »
Dreams that vary from child to child
The vice-president evokes the new five-year partnership with the Blue Cross insurance company which will ensure the continuation of their activities. “It provides comprehensive travel insurance for children and their families. This is timely with the resumption of international travel, which had been suspended due to the pandemic. She reports that more than 70% of the wishes include a trip to the provincial, national or international scene. “This partnership is essential, because the magic of a dream is to provide worry-free moments for children and their families. We want to give children hope, courage and some peace of mind. In short, allow them to be children. »
Dreams vary from child to child. “The one at Disneyland is very popular, but there are other destinations. There are thematic trips, like going to see a sports team or meeting a celebrity. Other children rather want objects: a bicycle, for example,” she explains.
To make those dreams come true, the Foundation has set a goal to raise more than $100 million in funds by 2025 so it can make over 6,000 wishes come true. To achieve this, it relies on all kinds of fundraising activities. “We are very proud, because the biggest event of the foundation takes place in Quebec. It’s about the 48 hours of cycling that will take place next September in Mirabel. Last year, we raised over two million dollars. »
The vice-president in Quebec recalls that the foundation recently launched a campaign called United for Dreams, which is aimed especially at women. “This is a pan-Canadian campaign during which 100 female ambassadors will have to raise $10,000 each for a total of one million dollars. »
David Marenger and the blue morpho
This content was produced by the Special Publications team of the Duty, relating to marketing. The drafting of Duty did not take part.