Benevolent Kings: Bklyn Make-A-Wish chapter grants record number of requests with help from big-hearted locals

Benevolent Kings: Bklyn Make-A-Wish chapter grants record number of requests with help from big-hearted locals
Photo by Trey Pentecost

Brooklyn is bursting with wish grantors!

Big-hearted locals from around the borough helped a do-good group grant more wishes of critically ill kiddos in 2018 than ever before, according to leaders of the organization, who cheered the Kings Countians for their overwhelming generosity.

“In 2017, we had a severe problem where we didn’t have enough grantors for the kids awaiting wishes,” said Brooklyn Make-A-Wish Counsel Chairman Khari Edwards. “Last year we broke records, now having more wish granters than kids waiting for wishes. It was amazing.”

Edwards joined the leadership of the Make-A-Wish Foundation’s local arm about a year and a half ago. And since then, the chairman amped up the chapter’s outreach in the borough, and relocated the Make-A-Wish training headquarters from Manhattan to Borough Hall — two changes he said resulted in the program’s recent success.

“Many think that the Make-A-Wish Foundation is a distant, multi-million-dollar, non-profit organization,” Edwards said. “My call to action was to educate Brooklyn that it’s an organization that anyone can jump right into and get their hands dirty to make a tangible impact.”

The Brooklynites who helped make the impossible possible — whom the foundation calls “wish granters” — did so in two ways, with some donating cash to pay for the requests, and others volunteering time to help make the dreams a reality by assisting kids with filing the required paperwork to request wishes, and then planning out the elaborate schemes using funds from the foundation.

Many locals gave up their weekends in order to grant the 2018 wishes — which spanned a wide variety of interests, including visits to Disney World, and going on a glamorous shopping spree, according to Edwards.

“This borough is home, and when you challenge folks in Brooklyn to improve the community, they will follow through,” he said. “There is nothing like seeing the joy of a kid’s smile when you give them the opportunity to make a wish. We had folks asking to sign up from almost every neighborhood in Brooklyn, which has never been seen before.”

The chairman aspires to even further increase the number of Brooklyn granters over the next year, while continuing to highlight the impact that Make-A-Wish has on sick local youngsters, he said.

“Think about someone who doesn’t know if they are going to see tomorrow,” Edwards said. “Now think about giving them the opportunity to smile — that will only take a few hours out of your life.”

Edwards and other Make-A-Wish leaders recently toasted those locals who helped the youngsters’ dreams come true at Downtown’s City Point shopping center during the foundation’s third-annual Make-A-Wish Day bash on Jan. 24, the date Borough President Adams dubbed “Brooklyn Make-A-Wish Day” back in 2017.

All smiles: Max Reznik and his sister Elizabeth Reznik walked the red carpet at the Make-A-Wish Day event on Jan. 24.
Make-A-Wish Foundation