The Last Word: Make-A-Wish North Texas CEO Kim Elenez on Turning ‘Wishes into Reality’ With April WishMakers Recruitment

“Wishes are more than dreams; they’re vital components of healing for children facing critical illnesses.”

Kim Elenez
President and CEO
Make-A-Wish North Texas
.…on the launch of the nonprofit’s April “WishMakers” recruitment drive.

Make-A-Wish North Texas is joining forces with chapters across the U.S. and around the globe in an ambitious effort to grant more “life-changing wishes” for children battling critical illnesses. But to grant those wishes, the nonprofit foundation relies on “WishMakers” to help make them come true.

The new “WishMakers Wanted” campaign, launched at a star-studded event in New York City last week, aims to recruit 1 million new “WishMakers”—donors, volunteers, partners, and advocates—by the end of World Wish Month in April.

WWE Superstar Cody Rhodes and the Impractical Jokers, who have all contributed to granting wishes, joined Make-A-Wish America President and CEO Leslie Motter to kick off the campaign. At the event, two children had their wishes fulfilled by meeting the Impractical Jokers.

Here in North Texas, the local chapter is fully embracing the campaign’s mission.

“At Make-A-Wish North Texas, we understand the profound impact a wish can have on a child’s journey, and it’s our ‘WishMakers’ who make these transformative experiences possible,” Kim Elenez, president and CEO of Make-A-Wish North Texas, said in a statement. “As we embark on the ‘WishMakers Wanted’ campaign, we call upon individuals everywhere to join us in spreading hope and joy to every eligible child.”

Elenez’s call to action points to the vital role that “WishMakers” play in the organization’s mission. As Motter explained, “When a wish is granted, it changes everyone involved, and we are eager for our ‘WishMakers’ to experience and feel first-hand the power and hope that come with a wish.”

Four local corporate partners will be activating for World Wish Month in stores or online to raise money and rally their customers, the chapter said. They include Duro Hospitality, Pet Evolution, the Texas Rangers, and Tiff’s Treats.

Their support will contribute to the efforts of national corporate partners including American Airlines, Avis, Bakers Square, BHG Financial, BuzzRx, Chase, Dave & Buster’s, Disney, Duck Donuts, Famous Dave’s, Fanatics, Frios Gourmet Pops, GameStop, Granite City, IT’SUGAR, Jumpzylla, Keebler, Kendra Scott, Maggiano’s Little Italy, Main Event, Marquis, Painting with a Twist, Red Lobster, Red Robin Gourmet Burgers & Brews, Royal Caribbean International, Snappy, Sugarwish, The Learning Experience, Topgolf, United Airlines, Village Inn, Vivid Seats, and WWE.

All month long, the organization noted, celebrity supporters will be sharing the reasons why they grant wishes and encourage others to join them.

One key date this month is World Wish Day, which pays tribute to the original “WishMakers,” a handful of people who came together in 1980 to grant a 7-year-old boy’s wish to be a police officer.

Since then, the global wish-granting movement has led to “more than 585,000 life-changing wishes” being granted, Make-A-Wish said.

“Together, let’s make the impossible possible,” said Elenez.

For more of who said what about all things North Texas, check out Every Last Word.

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