Javascript is not enabled.

Javascript must be enabled to use this site. Please enable Javascript in your browser and try again.

Content starts here


Do you love surprising people? Does the look of delight on their faces when a wish comes true make your day? You can also capture that feeling in your volunteer work. A number of organizations exist specifically to grant wishes to people going through difficult times or people in need. They may arrange for a special trip or experience, or for specific needs to be met or home repairs to be made, for example.

Volunteers play a big role in this process. Here are a number of wish-granting organizations and some advice on how to find the right one.

Wishes for Grown-ups

AARP’s charitable affiliate Wish of a Lifetime grants wishes for adults ages 65+ and elevates their stories, inspiring people of all ages to redefine aging in America. With over 2,300 wishes granted, they have reconnected loved ones, fulfilled life-long dreams, commemorated service, and reignited passions.

Wishes for Kids

One of the most famous wish-granting organizations is the Make-A-Wish Foundation, which has chapters throughout the world. Make-A-Wish grants life-changing wishes to children with critical illnesses. In fact, there are a number of wish-granting organizations that work with children who are ill or who have disabilities, including A Kid Again, Kids Wish Network, and The Granted Wish Foundation. The age ranges for each vary, withs some programs serving young adults age 21 or younger. Some wish-granting organizations focus on local needs, such as Dream Factory in New York City or A Special Wish Foundation in Ohio.

Wishes for Specific Purposes

Some wish-granting organizations focus on specific types of wishes. For example. Catch a Dream Foundation provides hunting and fishing trips for children with life-threatening illnesses. And Special Spaces creates dream bedrooms for children who have undergone cancer treatments. Wish Upon a Wedding arranges weddings and vow renewal ceremonies to couples who are facing serious illnesses.

Ready to volunteer? Search online for organizations in your area. If the wish is for someone who is seriously ill, contact your local hospital’s patient services department or your local library’s research desk to find out if there are local or national organizations that might need volunteers. And if you’re still looking for volunteer opportunities, don’t forget to visit and search the database for more ideas.

Leaving Website

You are now leaving and going to a website that is not operated by AARP. A different privacy policy and terms of service will apply.