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Frequently Asked Questions


What can a child wish for?

We like to say that a wish is only limited by a child’s imagination; however, some restrictions do apply to protect the safety of the child.

How old does a child have to be to have a wish granted?

The child must be older than 2 1/2 and younger than 18 at the time they are referred to Make-A-Wish North Dakota to have a wish granted.

Can the child’s family participate in the wish?

Yes, the wish experience extends to the entire, immediate family living in the home, knowing that parents and siblings want to share in the experience too.

What are the medical criteria for having a wish granted?

To qualify for a wish, the child must have a diagnosed illness that is considered to be life-threatening by their physician. We do consider wishes on a case-by-case basis, so it is always best to contact us if there is a question as to whether a child qualifies.

Doesn't Make-A-Wish just send kids to Walt Disney World®?

No, Disney wishes are just 56% of all the wishes we do. Other popular requests include computers, shopping sprees, trips to Hawaii, celebrity meetings and swimming pools.

What if the child becomes sick again? Can they have another wish? 

No, every eligible child may have one wish from Make-A-Wish. In addition, if a child has received a wish from another wish granting organization, they are ineligible to receive a wish from Make-A-Wish.

Referring a Child

How do you find the children?

The wish children are referred to us by their parents, physician, social worker, teacher or neighbor. Some kids even refer themselves. Anyone can contact us about how to refer a child to Make-A-Wish. But the family needs to be aware of and agree to the referral.

Who can refer a child?
Only parents/legal guardians, medical professionals, or the child themselves may make the referral. If you know of a child who may be eligible, encourage the parents/legal guardians to call our office at 701-280-9474.

Are all of the children terminal?
No, Make-A-Wish fulfills wishes for children with life-threatening medical conditions. A great majority of the children we have helped are still alive today.

What illnesses qualify a child for a wish?
Conditions that generally qualify children for our services include, but are not limited to, various forms of cancer, heart disease, Duchenne’s muscular dystrophy and organ transplants. Children with more chronic conditions like cerebral palsy, Crohn’s disease or spina bifida may qualify if their conditions are coupled with other complications and the combination is considered life-threatening.

Can a child qualify for a wish if they have received one from another wish-granting organization?
No, a child that has received a wish from another wish granting organization is not eligible for a wish from Make-A-Wish.

Does the family’s financial status matter?
No, the economic background of the child and their family has no bearing on whether or not a wish is granted. The only qualifying factors are age and medical condition.

How do I refer a child?
Please click here to complete an online wish referral inquiry form. You may also email our Director of Program Services or call 701-280-9474.


How much of a time commitment is needed for volunteers?
Make-A-Wish does not mandate specific time commitments for any volunteers. Some wishes, like gift wishes, are quickly and easily fulfilled. Some wishes, like travel wishes, could take longer because the family travels on their timetable.

I'm not 21 years old. Can I still volunteer for Make-A-Wish?
Although all wish volunteers must be 21 years old to work on wishes, there are a number of other volunteer opportunities including helping at events, working in the Make-A-Wish office or organizing a fundraiser at school.

Do I have to contribute to Make-A-Wish to become a volunteer?
No, you do not have to make a contribution to Make-A-Wish to become a volunteer. However, you will have the option to pay for a criminal background check which is required by Make-A-Wish® America. 

Do wish volunteers travel with the family/child?
No, there are 61 other Make-A-Wish chapters around the country. When we send a wish family to another state, that chapter will help facilitate the wish.

Why are wishes handled by wish teams rather than individuals?
A two or three-person team provides a good support network when working on wishes. If one volunteer is busy, the other one can pick up the slack. And in emotional situations, it is good to have a wish partner to lean on. Finally, working in teams helps to protect volunteers from potential accusations of impropriety.

How do I become a volunteer?
Please contact our Volunteer and Outreach Coordinator via email or by calling 701-280-9474.


How do you pay for the wishes?
We rely entirely on private donations from individuals, companies, foundations, schools and corporations. We receive no government funds or grants.

Can my financial contribution be tax deductible?
Yes. Make-A-Wish North Dakota is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization. As such, financial contributions may be deductible for federal income tax purposes. Please consult with your financial advisor to determine the extent of tax deductibility.

How much of my donation actually goes towards the cost of wishes?
100% if you so designate. Our Wishmaker program makes it possible for you to direct your entire contribution to the cost of wishes. 

How much of Make-A-Wish's funds are spent on wishes?
More than 85% of all funds received go towards fulfilling wishes.

How are the rest of Make-A-Wish's funds spent?
9.9% is used on fund raising, 4.6% is used on administration and as stated above, more than 85% are used to make wishes come true.

Can I donate my airline mileage to Make-A-Wish?
Yes. Your donation of airline mileage can help us grant thousands of travel wishes. To donate your miles, please click here.

Does Make-A-Wish conduct telemarketing campaigns?
No, the Foundation has a policy against telemarketing because it is considered intrusive and not cost-effective. However, be careful of sound-alike organizations that conduct aggressive telemarketing campaigns. Many donors are confused and think they are donating to Make-A-Wish. They are not.

Will my donation help local children or will it be sent to your national organization?
Donations raised in our chapter territory stay local to help fund wish granting of children in our area. Donors can request that their donation be restricted to a specific geographic area, if desired.

Does Make-A-Wish participate in chain letter wishes?
No. Each day, Make-A-Wish and its chapters receive hundreds of inquiries about chain letters claiming to be associated with the Foundation and featuring sick children. However, we do not participate in these kinds of wishes. Some names associated with these wishes are: Jessie Anderson, Shane Bernier, Chad Briody , Amy Bruce, Jeff DeLeon, Rhyan Desquetado, Anthony Hebrank, LaNisha Jackson, Nikisha Johnson, Craig Sheldon, Craig Shelford, Craig Shelton, Craig Sheppard, Craig Shergold, Bryan Warner and Kayla Wightman. 

If you have any additional questions not addressed here, please do not hesitate to contact us at 701-280-9474. 

Make-A-Wish® North Dakota
4143 26th Avenue South
Suite 104
Fargo, ND 58104
(701) 280-9474
Toll Free North Dakota Only (800) 362-9474