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Dream Chronicles

1010 Warwick Ave. Warwick, RI 02888

NOVEMBER 2020

awish.org • 401-781-9199

2020 Board of Directors Colleen Duffy, Board Chair Amy Parker Esq., Board Vice Chair Victor Santos, Board Secretary James Cavanaugh, Board Member Frank Ray III, Board Member Cynthia Rodrigues, Board Member Ron Volpe, Board Member Steve Napolillo, Board Member

Unprecedented times call for unprecedented action!

UPCOMING EVENTS

WISH FACTS

Polar Plunge Challenge

Wishes granted in fiscal 2019-2020

For 17 years, A Wish Come True has organized the largest Polar Plunge in Rhode Island. Last year, over 6,000 people attended the Freezin’ For A Reason on New Year’s Day. Unfortunately, this year, we need to be creative to keep everyone safe. Due to strict state guidelines requiring a safety plan, A Wish Come True could not receive a permit for the event. In response, our 2020 event is being taken to a whole new level. We will be hosting a virtual Ice Bucket Challenge! We ask you that you challenge your friends to join in and help make family’s wishes come true. Through the entire month of January, we will be challenging the community to participate in the Polar Plunge Challenge. Last year over, $27,000 was raised and our goal is to surpass this record amount. We hope you will join us as we adapt to keep everyone safe.

The True Meaning of Giving Meghan Duffy Memorial Hardship FundMeeting the Needs Today! Last Fall, Colleen Duffy joined the Board of Directors for A Wish Come True. Immediately, she wanted to help, and she really stepped up to the plate. Colleen and Frank Duffy’s daughter, Meghan, passed away at age 11 from bone cancer. The Duffy’s created the Meghan K. Duffy Memorial Foundation to ease the financial burdens of families whose children are receiving treatment for cancer. They also have provided scholarships and met technology needs. When they heard that the Wish Families were struggling, the synergy to create a Hardship Fund for our families was perfect. In November of 2019, the A Wish Come True - Meghan K. Duffy Memorial Hardship Fund was established through an initial $5,000

from their foundation. Since then, over $20,000 has been raised to support our Wish Families. We are pleased to report that 26 families have received support for groceries, rent, car repairs and overdue bills. “Our Wish Families are in a critical place today. Many are struggling and the Hardship Fund has helped relieve stress,” said Nicole White, Director of Program Services. “This holiday season the needs have doubled since last year. Many can’t afford Christmas presents never mind pay their bills,” she added. If you would like to participate in making the holiday season a great one for a family, please visit our website at www.awish.org or call 401.781.9199.

To donate, visit us on the web at www.awish.org

(Oct-Sept): 14 Last Year: 30 Wishes Granted 6 - Florida 3 - Shopping Spree 5 - Non-travel wishes (examples – playground set, handicapped ramp, puppy) Anticipating Wishes in 2021 8 - Deciding on their wish 12 - Waiting for Florida/Give Kids The World/Parks 5 - Others

Ages of those served/referred 9 - Ages 3-5 7 - Ages 6-10 5 - Ages 11-15 4 - Ages 16-18 Diagnosis 12 - Cancer 2 - Autoimmune 3 - Neurological 2 - Multiple Diagnosis 6 - Other (sickle cell, genetic disorders) Wish Locations 5 - Kent County 2 - Washington county 12 - Providence County 1 - Bristol County 1 - Newport County 4 - Southeastern Massachusetts

To say this year has had its challenges would be a gross understatement; but we took swift and decisive action to be able to continue to serve our Wish Families during the pandemic. Additionally, we have strengthened the A Wish Come True mission to ensure that not only are we granting memorable wishes for our Wish Kids, but we are providing resources for our families. I am proud to say that we have created the Meghan K. Duffy Memorial Hardship Fund at A Wish Come True, in honor of my precious Meghan who passed away at the age of 11 in 2007. Her giving spirit is captured in this Fund which was designed to alleviate the financial hardships that our Wish Families have faced during these dark days. The Fund supports families through the payment of outstanding bills, and even purchasing groceries, and has provided a much needed lifeline. I recognize the stress that all of us are facing during this time, especially parents caring for children with life-threatening illnesses. The Parents Be Well program was launched to provide parents with weekly classes focused on stress management, nutrition, and camaraderie at our wonderful partner organization Raffa Yoga in Cranston. The first cohort of Wish Moms have said that this experience has been life-changing for them and we are excited for our next group’s experience!! These are just two of the initiatives that sustain our Wish Families and there are so many others that are highlighted in our newsletter!! We couldn’t do any of this without the support of our generous partners and donors. We know that so many families in Rhode Island and Southeastern Massachusetts who have very sick children need our help. We are asking for you to consider joining us in our efforts with a donation in any amount. I know that it will directly impact the lives of our amazing Wish Kids and will support their brave families. Thank you in advance for your consideration and generosity, Colleen Duffy Board Chair

Dear Friends, This year has certainly been a unique one for A Wish Come True. Like so many other organizations, we quickly had to pivot in response to the pandemic. Unfortunately, many of our wishes were canceled due to travel restrictions, and our Give Kids The World partner in Florida closed for the foreseeable future. While we could have easily closed our doors, we took the time to reassess to ensure that we could continue to serve the needs of our Wish Kids and their families. Two years ago, I reached out to our Wish Parents and asked them how we could support them further. While incredibly grateful for their child receiving their memorable wish, most shared that their joy was short-lived. Following wish fulfillment, families went back to their hectic life of constant worry, endless doctor’s appointments, and the daily struggle to preserve their child’s health - and this was before COVID-19. Today’s wishes look much different than they did when we established in 1982. Back then, in many cases, the child’s wish was a last wish. Today, the children we serve have a lifethreatening illness and often a life-long diagnosis. This means that the parents struggle daily to meet their needs and to protect them. In response, I am excited to share that the Board approved expanding our mission to the following:

Granting wishes and providing resources to families with children, ages 3-18, struggling with a life-threatening illness living in Rhode Island and Southeastern Massachusetts We are excited to share some of the great stories that happen at A Wish Come True in this newsletter. We hope that you will feel our energy and passion and be inspired to help more families receive wishes and resources through A Wish Come True. We could not do this without your support, and we are so grateful. Please enjoy your holidays and be safe. Mary-Kate O’Leary Executive Director


WISH KID SPOTLIGHT

The Wish for Wellness

Be Inspired by Isaiah

At A Wish Come True, we believe it is vital to provide much-needed support to the parents and caregivers who sacrifice so much for the well-being of their sick child. This was the goal when we created the Parents Be Well Program, and we were pleased that Erika, little Isaiah’s Mom, was in our first class.

Isaiah was a healthy, 5-year-old boy who loved football, kindergarten and playing on the playground with his friends. Then one day he began showing common cold symptoms. From there his condition rapidly worsened, eventually he became paralyzed from the neck down and required a ventilator to breathe. On September 3, 2018, Isaiah was diagnosed with Acute Flaccid Myelitis (AFM), which is inflammation of the spinal cord. AFM only affects 1 in 1 million children, and there is no cause, cure, or prognosis for this rare disease. Isaiah is only the second case ever diagnosed in Rhode Island. After 55 days in the PICU at Hasbro Children’s Hospital and 6 months of intense rehab, Isaiah was able to come home in April 2019. He has regained some movement but is still unable to walk. Isaiah has a long road ahead but is determined to get better! Isaiah’s wish is to go to Give Kids The World/Disney with his family. His wish is being generously sponsored by AGI Construction.

Parents Be Well Program

Iron Workers, Local 37 We simply could not fulfill our mission without the support of our corporate sponsors. Iron Workers, Local 37 is an excellent example of what it means to be an exceptional community partner.

In partnership with Raffa Yoga and Integrative Health Solutions, Erika has been able to participate in weekly support meetings with other Wish Moms. She is given the tools to learn how to better care for herself through enhanced nutrition and breathing exercises. Erika is also understanding why it is important to focus on her own health while she is taking care of Isaiah and her family. Is this program worth the investment? Listen to Erika in her own words: On day one of the Be Well Program I felt nervous, anxious, shy, excited. I had no idea what to expect, and I questioned if this program could work for me. I was not even sure if I would be able to do yoga, learn to relax, or open up to new people. I took a chance, and it such was a blessing for me - a godsend. I met some amazing people who understood what it was like to take care of a medically fragile child. I learned some great tools on how to relax, take time for myself, breathe, and most of all, to let it go. I learned to not dwell on what happened in the past when my son fell ill. There is nothing I can do to change that. I was always constantly on the go, taking absolutely no time for myself. I put everyone else first. I made sure everyone else was happy before my own happiness. This program has helped

me see that there is a light at the end of the tunnel. I can now manage my stress and let my emotions out when I need to. When I’m finished crying, I get right back up and tell myself “I Am Safe. I Am Okay. I Got This”. This group was a safe place for me to talk freely without being judged. Each class discussed new topics that were extremely helpful in everyday life. The Yoga portion was an added benefit that helped me focus on my breathing, calm my nerves, and relax my mind. As a mother of a child who has several medical needs, my life is non-stop. I worry, I cry, I stress. And I am so incredibly thankful for the opportunity to be a part of Be Well! I hope others will have the opportunity to participate in this. Please consider supporting our Parents Be Well Program to help more parents and caregivers, like Erika, as they navigate this difficult journey with their child.

Matt Dupuis

In 2019, Zoie received her magical wish to be a princess at Give Kids The World, where she met her favorite characters at Disney World, Universal and Sea World. Jacoby’s wish was to go back to Give Kids The World a year later. Unfortunately, his scheduled trip in March was canceled due to COVID-19.

Matt made a small change, and his $2.85 each day amounts to over $1,000 a year! Just

David Langlais, Business Manager of Local 37, met Mark-Kate O’Leary at the Greater Southeastern Labor Council meeting in 2019 when she spoke about A Wish Come True. Once the members heard that there was a waiting list for wish granting, they were compelled to get involved. They started with granting Breanna her wish. David explains how his organization got involved and why they continue to actively support A Wish Come True: We granted Breanna her wish last year. She had recently lost her father while she was in treatment for her illness. We were thrilled

We love it when our donors find innovative ways to help. Joseph Spiezio has been a generous supporter since 2016 and shares our belief that special events cannot be the sole source of revenue for A Wish Come True.

The family has decided to wait until 2021 to hopefully travel again. This will be after Jacoby receives chemo treatment on his tumors in his kidney. Matt is the Captain of the Pascoag Fire Department and he also works for Pascoag Electric. He works tirelessly to support his family through these challenging times, now more than ever. Last year, A Wish Come True began to receive a $20 donation each week from Matt to help other Wish Families. Matt decided to give up his daily Dunkin Donuts and donate that money to help grant more wishes.

David Langlais, Mickey LaRose, Russell Lachance

to help her get her wish to go to Disney. Breanna’s Mom stated, “It was an opportunity for our family to deal with the incredible tragedy of losing their father. It brought us closer together and we can’t thank the Iron Workers and A Wish Come True enough.” We then donated backpacks for all the Wish Kids and started a holiday drive to gather toys and presents for the kids. At that time, A Wish Come True started the Meghan Duffy Hardship Fund to support families struggling to get by. We donated to that too. When you get involved with an organization that you trust, and they are making a difference in so many lives you want to jump onboard. We wanted our charitable giving to stay local and help local families and A Wish Come True has been an exceptional partner with us.

We thank Iron Workers, Local 37 for their continued support and generosity. To learn how your company or organization can get involved please visit our website.

Healthy Hands, Helping Heart Campaign off to a great start!

Giving A Little, Helps A Lot Matt Dupuis is small in stature, but he has one of the largest hearts out there! In 2013, Matt and Jerilyn created an amazing family with four children. Unfortunately, their family has endured tremendous medical challenges. Zoie and Jacoby have a rare disease called Tuberous Sclerosis Complex. Both children have tumors in their major organs and have been in treatment since birth.

Corporate Partners Making a Difference

imagine if others made this small sacrifice. Despite his own family’s health struggles, Matt is committed to giving back, “I will never stop giving to A Wish Come True. They have gone above and beyond for my family and I will continue to do the same for them. I hope others consider giving back this year.”

When the pandemic started in the spring, Joe immediately explored ways to help. In response, he began manufacturing hand sanitizers. He then reached out to Mary-Kate O’Leary and offered to donate 17,000 bottles of hand sanitizer to ensure the organization would have a consistent revenue stream throughout the pandemic. “Now more than ever, our Wish Families are struggling with an even greater burden due to the pandemic,” said Mary-Kate O’Leary. “Medically fragile children are at a heightened

risk of exposure in school or sports, and our families are struggling to fund even basic needs, such as buying groceries or paying their electric bill. This initiative provides a much-needed product to the community and goes directly to support a child suffering from a life-threatening illness. Businesses need to keep their employees safe and they can help Wish Families while doing it. It is a win-win for everyone.” The 2 oz. bottle is 80% alcohol and kills 99.9% of germs. With proceeds staying local to support Wish Kids and their families, all purchases are tax free and tax deductible. Individuals and organizations may order online by visiting the A Wish Come True website, www.awish.org.

The Gift of Time & Talent Peter and Laurie Lombardi

Our volunteers are truly the backbone of our organization. When people donate their time and talent special connections happen, and Peter and Laurie Lombardi are an excellent example of this unique relationship. It all started when our office was being painted. The Lombardi’s live right up the street and stopped by to see if we needed any help. Peter remembers the day well, stating, “I painted all weekend … and loved it! It is truly magical here and Laurie and I will do whatever we can to help.” What began as a chance encounter has now turned into a weekly routine for the Lombardi’s. Peter explains why they continue to show up at A Wish Come True: “We see all the incredible things that are happening, and we are so excited to be part of it. I come by a few days a week to help with the building and Laurie helps with administrative work. We love seeing the kids. It was great to help at Halloween and Christmas in July. In fact, we have helped at golf tournaments, comedy shows and any event that might need volunteers. They change lives here and I hope others are inspired to get involved.” We thank Peter and Laurie from the bottom of our hearts. To learn how you can volunteer and make a real difference please sign up on our website, www.awish.org.


WISH KID SPOTLIGHT

The Wish for Wellness

Be Inspired by Isaiah

At A Wish Come True, we believe it is vital to provide much-needed support to the parents and caregivers who sacrifice so much for the well-being of their sick child. This was the goal when we created the Parents Be Well Program, and we were pleased that Erika, little Isaiah’s Mom, was in our first class.

Isaiah was a healthy, 5-year-old boy who loved football, kindergarten and playing on the playground with his friends. Then one day he began showing common cold symptoms. From there his condition rapidly worsened, eventually he became paralyzed from the neck down and required a ventilator to breathe. On September 3, 2018, Isaiah was diagnosed with Acute Flaccid Myelitis (AFM), which is inflammation of the spinal cord. AFM only affects 1 in 1 million children, and there is no cause, cure, or prognosis for this rare disease. Isaiah is only the second case ever diagnosed in Rhode Island. After 55 days in the PICU at Hasbro Children’s Hospital and 6 months of intense rehab, Isaiah was able to come home in April 2019. He has regained some movement but is still unable to walk. Isaiah has a long road ahead but is determined to get better! Isaiah’s wish is to go to Give Kids The World/Disney with his family. His wish is being generously sponsored by AGI Construction.

Parents Be Well Program

Iron Workers, Local 37 We simply could not fulfill our mission without the support of our corporate sponsors. Iron Workers, Local 37 is an excellent example of what it means to be an exceptional community partner.

In partnership with Raffa Yoga and Integrative Health Solutions, Erika has been able to participate in weekly support meetings with other Wish Moms. She is given the tools to learn how to better care for herself through enhanced nutrition and breathing exercises. Erika is also understanding why it is important to focus on her own health while she is taking care of Isaiah and her family. Is this program worth the investment? Listen to Erika in her own words: On day one of the Be Well Program I felt nervous, anxious, shy, excited. I had no idea what to expect, and I questioned if this program could work for me. I was not even sure if I would be able to do yoga, learn to relax, or open up to new people. I took a chance, and it such was a blessing for me - a godsend. I met some amazing people who understood what it was like to take care of a medically fragile child. I learned some great tools on how to relax, take time for myself, breathe, and most of all, to let it go. I learned to not dwell on what happened in the past when my son fell ill. There is nothing I can do to change that. I was always constantly on the go, taking absolutely no time for myself. I put everyone else first. I made sure everyone else was happy before my own happiness. This program has helped

me see that there is a light at the end of the tunnel. I can now manage my stress and let my emotions out when I need to. When I’m finished crying, I get right back up and tell myself “I Am Safe. I Am Okay. I Got This”. This group was a safe place for me to talk freely without being judged. Each class discussed new topics that were extremely helpful in everyday life. The Yoga portion was an added benefit that helped me focus on my breathing, calm my nerves, and relax my mind. As a mother of a child who has several medical needs, my life is non-stop. I worry, I cry, I stress. And I am so incredibly thankful for the opportunity to be a part of Be Well! I hope others will have the opportunity to participate in this. Please consider supporting our Parents Be Well Program to help more parents and caregivers, like Erika, as they navigate this difficult journey with their child.

Matt Dupuis

In 2019, Zoie received her magical wish to be a princess at Give Kids The World, where she met her favorite characters at Disney World, Universal and Sea World. Jacoby’s wish was to go back to Give Kids The World a year later. Unfortunately, his scheduled trip in March was canceled due to COVID-19.

Matt made a small change, and his $2.85 each day amounts to over $1,000 a year! Just

David Langlais, Business Manager of Local 37, met Mark-Kate O’Leary at the Greater Southeastern Labor Council meeting in 2019 when she spoke about A Wish Come True. Once the members heard that there was a waiting list for wish granting, they were compelled to get involved. They started with granting Breanna her wish. David explains how his organization got involved and why they continue to actively support A Wish Come True: We granted Breanna her wish last year. She had recently lost her father while she was in treatment for her illness. We were thrilled

We love it when our donors find innovative ways to help. Joseph Spiezio has been a generous supporter since 2016 and shares our belief that special events cannot be the sole source of revenue for A Wish Come True.

The family has decided to wait until 2021 to hopefully travel again. This will be after Jacoby receives chemo treatment on his tumors in his kidney. Matt is the Captain of the Pascoag Fire Department and he also works for Pascoag Electric. He works tirelessly to support his family through these challenging times, now more than ever. Last year, A Wish Come True began to receive a $20 donation each week from Matt to help other Wish Families. Matt decided to give up his daily Dunkin Donuts and donate that money to help grant more wishes.

David Langlais, Mickey LaRose, Russell Lachance

to help her get her wish to go to Disney. Breanna’s Mom stated, “It was an opportunity for our family to deal with the incredible tragedy of losing their father. It brought us closer together and we can’t thank the Iron Workers and A Wish Come True enough.” We then donated backpacks for all the Wish Kids and started a holiday drive to gather toys and presents for the kids. At that time, A Wish Come True started the Meghan Duffy Hardship Fund to support families struggling to get by. We donated to that too. When you get involved with an organization that you trust, and they are making a difference in so many lives you want to jump onboard. We wanted our charitable giving to stay local and help local families and A Wish Come True has been an exceptional partner with us.

We thank Iron Workers, Local 37 for their continued support and generosity. To learn how your company or organization can get involved please visit our website.

Healthy Hands, Helping Heart Campaign off to a great start!

Giving A Little, Helps A Lot Matt Dupuis is small in stature, but he has one of the largest hearts out there! In 2013, Matt and Jerilyn created an amazing family with four children. Unfortunately, their family has endured tremendous medical challenges. Zoie and Jacoby have a rare disease called Tuberous Sclerosis Complex. Both children have tumors in their major organs and have been in treatment since birth.

Corporate Partners Making a Difference

imagine if others made this small sacrifice. Despite his own family’s health struggles, Matt is committed to giving back, “I will never stop giving to A Wish Come True. They have gone above and beyond for my family and I will continue to do the same for them. I hope others consider giving back this year.”

When the pandemic started in the spring, Joe immediately explored ways to help. In response, he began manufacturing hand sanitizers. He then reached out to Mary-Kate O’Leary and offered to donate 17,000 bottles of hand sanitizer to ensure the organization would have a consistent revenue stream throughout the pandemic. “Now more than ever, our Wish Families are struggling with an even greater burden due to the pandemic,” said Mary-Kate O’Leary. “Medically fragile children are at a heightened

risk of exposure in school or sports, and our families are struggling to fund even basic needs, such as buying groceries or paying their electric bill. This initiative provides a much-needed product to the community and goes directly to support a child suffering from a life-threatening illness. Businesses need to keep their employees safe and they can help Wish Families while doing it. It is a win-win for everyone.” The 2 oz. bottle is 80% alcohol and kills 99.9% of germs. With proceeds staying local to support Wish Kids and their families, all purchases are tax free and tax deductible. Individuals and organizations may order online by visiting the A Wish Come True website, www.awish.org.

The Gift of Time & Talent Peter and Laurie Lombardi

Our volunteers are truly the backbone of our organization. When people donate their time and talent special connections happen, and Peter and Laurie Lombardi are an excellent example of this unique relationship. It all started when our office was being painted. The Lombardi’s live right up the street and stopped by to see if we needed any help. Peter remembers the day well, stating, “I painted all weekend … and loved it! It is truly magical here and Laurie and I will do whatever we can to help.” What began as a chance encounter has now turned into a weekly routine for the Lombardi’s. Peter explains why they continue to show up at A Wish Come True: “We see all the incredible things that are happening, and we are so excited to be part of it. I come by a few days a week to help with the building and Laurie helps with administrative work. We love seeing the kids. It was great to help at Halloween and Christmas in July. In fact, we have helped at golf tournaments, comedy shows and any event that might need volunteers. They change lives here and I hope others are inspired to get involved.” We thank Peter and Laurie from the bottom of our hearts. To learn how you can volunteer and make a real difference please sign up on our website, www.awish.org.


Dream Chronicles

1010 Warwick Ave. Warwick, RI 02888

NOVEMBER 2020

awish.org • 401-781-9199

2020 Board of Directors Colleen Duffy, Board Chair Amy Parker Esq., Board Vice Chair Victor Santos, Board Secretary James Cavanaugh, Board Member Frank Ray III, Board Member Cynthia Rodrigues, Board Member Ron Volpe, Board Member Steve Napolillo, Board Member

Unprecedented times call for unprecedented action!

UPCOMING EVENTS

WISH FACTS

Polar Plunge Challenge

Wishes granted in fiscal 2019-2020

For 17 years, A Wish Come True has organized the largest Polar Plunge in Rhode Island. Last year, over 6,000 people attended the Freezin’ For A Reason on New Year’s Day. Unfortunately, this year, we need to be creative to keep everyone safe. Due to strict state guidelines requiring a safety plan, A Wish Come True could not receive a permit for the event. In response, our 2020 event is being taken to a whole new level. We will be hosting a virtual Ice Bucket Challenge! We ask you that you challenge your friends to join in and help make family’s wishes come true. Through the entire month of January, we will be challenging the community to participate in the Polar Plunge Challenge. Last year over, $27,000 was raised and our goal is to surpass this record amount. We hope you will join us as we adapt to keep everyone safe.

The True Meaning of Giving Meghan Duffy Memorial Hardship FundMeeting the Needs Today! Last Fall, Colleen Duffy joined the Board of Directors for A Wish Come True. Immediately, she wanted to help, and she really stepped up to the plate. Colleen and Frank Duffy’s daughter, Meghan, passed away at age 11 from bone cancer. The Duffy’s created the Meghan K. Duffy Memorial Foundation to ease the financial burdens of families whose children are receiving treatment for cancer. They also have provided scholarships and met technology needs. When they heard that the Wish Families were struggling, the synergy to create a Hardship Fund for our families was perfect. In November of 2019, the A Wish Come True - Meghan K. Duffy Memorial Hardship Fund was established through an initial $5,000

from their foundation. Since then, over $20,000 has been raised to support our Wish Families. We are pleased to report that 26 families have received support for groceries, rent, car repairs and overdue bills. “Our Wish Families are in a critical place today. Many are struggling and the Hardship Fund has helped relieve stress,” said Nicole White, Director of Program Services. “This holiday season the needs have doubled since last year. Many can’t afford Christmas presents never mind pay their bills,” she added. If you would like to participate in making the holiday season a great one for a family, please visit our website at www.awish.org or call 401.781.9199.

To donate, visit us on the web at www.awish.org

(Oct-Sept): 14 Last Year: 30 Wishes Granted 6 - Florida 3 - Shopping Spree 5 - Non-travel wishes (examples – playground set, handicapped ramp, puppy) Anticipating Wishes in 2021 8 - Deciding on their wish 12 - Waiting for Florida/Give Kids The World/Parks 5 - Others

Ages of those served/referred 9 - Ages 3-5 7 - Ages 6-10 5 - Ages 11-15 4 - Ages 16-18 Diagnosis 12 - Cancer 2 - Autoimmune 3 - Neurological 2 - Multiple Diagnosis 6 - Other (sickle cell, genetic disorders) Wish Locations 5 - Kent County 2 - Washington county 12 - Providence County 1 - Bristol County 1 - Newport County 4 - Southeastern Massachusetts

To say this year has had its challenges would be a gross understatement; but we took swift and decisive action to be able to continue to serve our Wish Families during the pandemic. Additionally, we have strengthened the A Wish Come True mission to ensure that not only are we granting memorable wishes for our Wish Kids, but we are providing resources for our families. I am proud to say that we have created the Meghan K. Duffy Memorial Hardship Fund at A Wish Come True, in honor of my precious Meghan who passed away at the age of 11 in 2007. Her giving spirit is captured in this Fund which was designed to alleviate the financial hardships that our Wish Families have faced during these dark days. The Fund supports families through the payment of outstanding bills, and even purchasing groceries, and has provided a much needed lifeline. I recognize the stress that all of us are facing during this time, especially parents caring for children with life-threatening illnesses. The Parents Be Well program was launched to provide parents with weekly classes focused on stress management, nutrition, and camaraderie at our wonderful partner organization Raffa Yoga in Cranston. The first cohort of Wish Moms have said that this experience has been life-changing for them and we are excited for our next group’s experience!! These are just two of the initiatives that sustain our Wish Families and there are so many others that are highlighted in our newsletter!! We couldn’t do any of this without the support of our generous partners and donors. We know that so many families in Rhode Island and Southeastern Massachusetts who have very sick children need our help. We are asking for you to consider joining us in our efforts with a donation in any amount. I know that it will directly impact the lives of our amazing Wish Kids and will support their brave families. Thank you in advance for your consideration and generosity, Colleen Duffy Board Chair

Dear Friends, This year has certainly been a unique one for A Wish Come True. Like so many other organizations, we quickly had to pivot in response to the pandemic. Unfortunately, many of our wishes were canceled due to travel restrictions, and our Give Kids The World partner in Florida closed for the foreseeable future. While we could have easily closed our doors, we took the time to reassess to ensure that we could continue to serve the needs of our Wish Kids and their families. Two years ago, I reached out to our Wish Parents and asked them how we could support them further. While incredibly grateful for their child receiving their memorable wish, most shared that their joy was short-lived. Following wish fulfillment, families went back to their hectic life of constant worry, endless doctor’s appointments, and the daily struggle to preserve their child’s health - and this was before COVID-19. Today’s wishes look much different than they did when we established in 1982. Back then, in many cases, the child’s wish was a last wish. Today, the children we serve have a lifethreatening illness and often a life-long diagnosis. This means that the parents struggle daily to meet their needs and to protect them. In response, I am excited to share that the Board approved expanding our mission to the following:

Granting wishes and providing resources to families with children, ages 3-18, struggling with a life-threatening illness living in Rhode Island and Southeastern Massachusetts We are excited to share some of the great stories that happen at A Wish Come True in this newsletter. We hope that you will feel our energy and passion and be inspired to help more families receive wishes and resources through A Wish Come True. We could not do this without your support, and we are so grateful. Please enjoy your holidays and be safe. Mary-Kate O’Leary Executive Director

Profile for JH Communications

Dream Chronicles: A Wish Come True 2020 Annual Appeal  

The annual appeal for the nonprofit organization A Wish Come True

Dream Chronicles: A Wish Come True 2020 Annual Appeal  

The annual appeal for the nonprofit organization A Wish Come True

Profile for jhcom