Wishes in Flight Campaign in its final approach

The HAN Network Wishes in Flight Campaign has had a successful run and is in its final stages.
During April, Make-A-Wish Connecticut and the HAN Network partnered for the first-ever airline miles drive in Fairfield County. This airline mile donation campaign will help grant travel wishes to Connecticut children battling life-threatening medical conditions.

More than 70% of wishes granted involve air travel. That’s more than 150 wishes each year in Connecticut. And the wish is not just for the child, it’s for the entire immediate family. That means more than 600 airline tickets on average are needed each year to make Connecticut travel wishes come true.

Viviana Rivera of Fairfield experienced the power of a wish. She wanted to experience a wish that she and entire family could be a part of. They set sail on a Disney cruise, where Viviana was given the royal treatment. Special character meet-and-greets, as well as special notes and treats from the cruise staff, made her trip extra magical.

“The whole Make-A-Wish planning was something I could think about during my lowest moments,” Viviana said. “It would immediately perk me up.”

Each wish is unique to the child and can vary in many different ways. A child may wish “to go,” “to be,” “to meet,” or “to have.” Certain wishes may be a blend of these four different types. For example, kids who wish to meet a favorite actor or singer very often will have to fly to see their wish become a reality. A child who wishes to be a cowboy for a day may be flown out West to experience Big Sky Country firsthand. And, of course, many Wish Kids wish to travel to tropical paradises or magical theme park destinations like Walt Disney World.

Five-year-old Monroe native Aidan traveled to Walt Disney World to meet his favorite character, Mickey Mouse. He was immersed in magic throughout his trip and made unforgettable memories with his family. His mother described the trip as being “phenomenal and touching.”

“No matter how many wishes we grant each year, they are each unique in their own way,” Make-A-Wish Connecticut Community and Media Relations Manager Michael Dominick said. “And whatever the wish may be, it becomes a life-changing experience for the entire family. There is the anticipation and excitement while choosing a wish and waiting for it to be granted, then there is the moment the wish comes true, and finally there are the countless happy memories that a family will keep with them forever when they return home.”

Miles may be donated to the Wishes in Flight Campaign until April 30. Help Make-A-Wish Connecticut and the HAN Network reach their goal of 300,000 miles.

“This campaign has a direct influence on the wish-granting process, and the community donations we receive have the power to change the life of our Connecticut Wish Kids,” said Pam Keough, Make-A-Wish Connecticut president and CEO.

You may donate unused Delta or United miles directly to the HAN Network Wishes in Flight Campaign by visiting ct.wish.org/HANNetwork. JetBlue, Southwest Airlines and American Airlines directly accept airline miles donations that support Make-A-Wish through their airline mile donation programs, which may be contributed through their individual websites.

The Make-A-Wish Foundation of Connecticut grants the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions to enrich the human experience with hope, strength and joy. Wish-come-true experiences can do wonders by providing a much-needed break from lengthy hospital stays and medical treatments. They give back to a child what a serious medical condition can take away — the chance to simply enjoy being a kid. Wish kids choose something that will inspire happiness, and allow them to spend precious time with their families. The Connecticut chapter has made more than 2,500 wishes come true since its inception in 1986. Learn more about Connecticut wishes or join Make-A-Wish on Facebook (search Make-A-Wish Connecticut) and follow them on Twitter and Instagram (@MakeAWishCT).