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Frequently Asked Questions


What's the most unusual wish you've ever done?
There have been several - we’ve sent a child to visit “where eagles live,” had a child experience a landing and take-off from the deck of an aircraft carrier, granted a request for a dinosaur tooth, made it possible for a child to be a zookeeper for a day and finally, made a little boy into a superhero.

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.

Jak at Discovery Cove

Jak and his mom on his wish to swim with dolphins

Jak and his mom on his wish to swim with dolphins

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.

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.

Princess Alyssa

Princess Alyssa


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.

Do wish volunteers travel with the family/child?
No, there are 62 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.

Bridget with her volunteers

Bridget with her volunteers


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.

How much of my donation actually goes toward 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 75% of all funds received go toward fulfilling wishes.

How are the rest of Make-A-Wish's funds spent?
Fundraising uses 11% of the funds, 14% is spent on administration and as stated above, more than 75% is used to make wishes come true.

Does Make-A-Wish conduct telemarketing campaigns?
No, Make-A-Wish 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 Montana. Donors can request that their donation be restricted to a specific geographic area, if desired.

Do you receive funding from the United Way?
While Make-A-Wish Montana is not a United Way agency, we do participate in its Contributor’s Choice program. Our United Way code is #70383.

Lewis and Clark Elementary School

Lewis & Clark Elementary

Lewis & Clark Elementary

Make-A-Wish® Montana
1015 Mount Ave
Suite C
Missoula, MT 59801
(406) 259-9848