The Make-A-Wish Foundation traces its beginning to one boy’s wish to be a police officer. This one wish spawned an amazing internaional wish-granting organization.
The First Wish
All his life, Christopher James Greicius dreamed of becoming a police officer. But he couldn’t know that his wish would be the inspiration for the largest wish-granting organization in the world.
In 1980, 7-year-old Chris Greicius was being treated for leukemia. Every day, he dreamed of becoming a police officer. On April 29, 1980, a caring group of personnel from the Arizona Department of Public Safety wanted to provide him with an experience to lift his spirits. In addition to receiving his own uniform and special treatment from the department, Chris was sworn in as the first honorary DPS patrolman in history.
The following day, Chris passed away, but not before seeing his dream come true and experiencing the hope, strength and joy that came from receiving his wish.
Based on Chris’ wish, the Chris Greicius Make-A-Wish Memorial, which later became known as the Make-A-Wish Foundation, was born. In November 1980, the Foundation received its tax-exempt status as a nonprofit organization.
On May 13, 1983, the Make-A-Wish Foundation of America was officially incorporated. Six Make-A-Wish chapters were operating around the country, and 22 more were established the following year. To date, more than 250,000 wishes have been granted world wide.