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Make a Wish for Adults?! 21 Charities that Make Dreams Come True

Make a Wish for Adults?! 21 Charities that Make Dreams Come True

Is there a Make a Wish for adults? The answer might surprise you! Although the Make a Wish Foundation specializes in helping children, there are other organizations and charities that help adults as well!

In this article, we’ll introduce you to around 20 wish-granting organizations that serve adults. We’ll talk about who is eligible for these services and how you can apply.

Don’t forget to check out our list of wish-granting organizations for children as well, since many providers on that list serve young adults between the ages of 18 and 21 as well.

Make a Wish for Adults with Terminal Diagnoses

Each of the organizations in our list set their own criteria. Some serve people with all diagnoses, others are specific to certain states or certain conditions. This part of our list is for organizations that serve people with any terminal or life-limiting diagnosis.

Dream Foundation

The Dream Foundation is an organization that works like a Make a Wish for adults. This organization serves anyone over the age of 18 who has been diagnosed with a terminal illness.

The wishes fulfilled by this organization can be small and simple (like a dinner out with your family) or elaborate (like a trip to Orlando theme parks). They can also help you buy items that would improve your quality of life at home, such as a new TV or laptop computer.

There are some limitations, of course. For example, the Dream Foundation does not coordinate cruises, offer legal assistance, arrange hunting trips, or international travel.

In order to be eligible for a Dream, you must meet the following guidelines:

  • You must be at least 18 years old.
  • You must live in the United States (including Alaska, Hawaii and Puerto Rico).
  • You must be diagnosed with a life-threatening illness.
  • You must have a life expectancy that is 12 months or less.
  • You must be unable to afford the Dream on your own.

If you meet the criteria, you can apply on the Dream Foundation website. You will need to choose the right application, since there are special applications for veterans and those on hospice.

James Bess Foundation

The James Bess Foundation provides Final Dreams for adults who are battling terminal illnesses. The dreams can be travel or experience based, as long as you are able to safely travel and a doctor approves your participation.

In order to be eligible for a dream from the James Bess Foundation, you must meet these requirements:

  • You must live in the United States.
  • You must be between 21 – 65 years old.
  • You must be diagnosed with a terminal illness.
  • You must have a diagnosed life expectancy of less than 18 months.

To apply, download the application and carefully review the instructions.

Specific Wishes Only

Some organizations can help certain dreams come true. If your wish aligns with their mission, then these organizations might be able to help!

Cameron Siemers Foundation for Hope

This organization provides a Life Grant of up to $5,000 to eligible young adults who have been diagnosed with a life-threatening illness. In order to qualify, you must be between 18 and 30 years old.

The Life Grant can be used to do anything that will make a difference in your life and the lives of others. This could include writing a book, producing a CD, starting a business, launching a product, or travelling on a goodwill mission.

You can download the application on the Cameron Siemers Foundation website.

Do It For the Love

Do It For the Love focuses on connecting people with meaningful live music experiences. They can provide up to four event tickets to a live music wish in the United States or Canada. Certain events may be limited to two tickets. They try to coordinate meet-and-greet encounters but those aren’t guaranteed.

This organization serves children and adults who are living with a life-threatening illness. They also serve wounded veterans.

You can apply online.

United Special Sportsman Alliance Inc.

This organization offers free outdoor adventures for critically ill or disabled youth, adults and veterans! If you get a trophy fish or game animal on your adventure, USSA may be able to help you with free mounting from their network of taxidermists as well.

If travel is required, USSA may be able to help finance or subsidize your travel expenses. However, they ask that you contribute if you can so that they can grant more wishes for other people too.

In order to be eligible for an outdoor wish from USSA, you just need to be someone in the United States who has a life-threatening illness or a disability.

You can apply on the USSA website.

Wish Upon a Wedding

When a couple is faced with a terminal illness or life-altering medical condition, it can destroy their finances and leave them emotionally exhausted. Even those who desperately want a wedding may be unable to afford it or even think about it.

If that sounds painfully familiar, Wish Upon a Wedding can help. They help provide free weddings for couples who are afflicted with terminal diagnoses or life-changing health circumstances. Their wishes can cover Sunday through Thursday weddings with a guestlist of up to 50 people. They’ll also cover the wedding planner, venue, catering, photographer, videographer, beauty services, DJ, officiant, linens, attire and stationary. It’s incredible!

Apply online using their Wish Request Application.

Make a Wish for Adults with Cancer

The nonprofits in this section help adults who have been diagnosed with cancer. They can help you make your dreams come true!

Dear Jack Foundation

The Dear Jack Foundation serves adolescents and young adults who have been diagnosed with cancer. They have several helpful programs, including one called LifeList that is similar to a Make a Wish for adults.

The LifeList program can grant wishes up to a total of $2,000. This program does not award gift cards, cash or direct financial assistance for bills. Their goal is to help you fulfill a wish. Past wishes include celebrity meetings, attending sporting events, getting a Nintendo Switch, and travelling to family reunions.

In order to be eligible for LifeList, you must meet the following criteria:

  • You must be between the ages of 18 and 39.
  • You must be within one year of your primary cancer diagnosis.
  • You must have recently experienced a relapse of primary cancer or a secondary cancer diagnosis.
  • You must be enrolled in a clinical trial where standard treatments have proven unsuccessful.

If you meet those criteria, then you can apply for this program. Applications are open for one week each quarter. That means you can only apply during one week every three months, so it’s important to know when those applications will be opened again. You can find the schedule and application on the Dear Jack Foundation website.

In addition to the LifeList program, the Dear Jack Foundation also offers free Mental Wellness Boxes and four-day Breathe Now Wellness Retreats for survivors and their partners.

Giuliana Rancic’s Fab-u-Wish

The Fab-u-Wish program serves women who have been affected by breast cancer. This program offers four categories of wishes: beauty, fashion, home goods and decoration, or experiences. Due to limited funding and an overwhelming number of applications, the organization does not fulfill vacation-related wishes at this time.

In order to be eligible for help from Fab-u-Wish, you must meet these requirements:

  • You must live in the United States.
  • You must be undergoing active treatment for breast cancer (or have completed treatment in the last 12 months).

If you would like to request a wish, fill out the request form on The Pink Agenda website.

Nikolas Ritschel Foundation

Nikolas Ritschel was diagnosed with cancer just before his 18th birthday. His wish from the Make a Wish Foundation meant the world to him and he was heartbroken when he found out that young adults over the age of 18 did not qualify. His last wish, the night before cancer claimed his life, was to make sure that other young adults could have a wish too.

His namesake foundation serves young adults between the ages of 18 and 24 years old who have been diagnosed with cancer.

Due to limited funding, applications are not always available. Even if applications are closed, you can have someone on your medical team submit an application or you can request to be added to the waitlist. Just follow the instructions on the Nik’s Wish website.

Stella’s Wish Foundation

Stella’s Wish Foundation awards 2-3 wishes every month from their list of applications. You can submit your wish again if it isn’t selected.

In order to be eligible from Stella’s Wish, you must have been diagnosed with Stage 4 cancer. You can apply on behalf of a loved one who has received this diagnosis.

You can submit your wish request on the Stella’s Wish website.

Make a Wish for Parents

Some of the organizations that offer wish-granting for adults focus on serving parents.

Jack & Jill Late Stage Cancer Foundation

This organization plans WOW! Experiences for families who are affected by cancer. Their goal is to create unforgettable memories for children (under age 18) who will lose a parent to cancer. Their WOW! Experiences may include cruises, sporting events, theme park trips and more.

This foundation only accepts referrals from oncologists. If you want to participate in a WOW! experience, you will need to ask your oncology team to refer you.

One Day to Remember

Parents who are raising a child while also battling advanced-stage cancer may be able to get help from One Day to Remember. The goal of this organization is to help you have a perfect day with your family.

A professional photographer will help capture your memories and turn them into a photobook keepsake. Each child who participates in your Day will receive a journal, as well.

If you are able to go into town, this program will help you plan a day of activities that your family can enjoy together. The adventure must take place within a two-hour drive of your home. This will include meals, transportation, and a professional photo session. They take care of all the planning so you don’t have to worry about it.

If you can’t go into town, they will bring the adventure home to you. They can arrange for delivery from your favorite restaurant and plan a family activity at home instead.

In order to be eligible, you must meet the following requirements:

  • You must live in the United States.
  • You must be diagnosed with advanced-stage cancer.
  • You must have at least one child that is age 18 or under.

You can apply on the One Day to Remember website.

Wishing for Mommy

This organization helps children take action when their mother is struggling with a breast cancer diagnosis. Recognizing that children often feel powerless in these situations, this organization invites children to apply on behalf of their mothers. The children are then awarded $500 to help that child make a difference in their mother’s life.

In order to be eligible, the child must be under age 18 and must nominate their mother or step-mother. The mother must be diagnosed with breast cancer and undergoing active treatment (or have completed active treatment within the last 24 months). An adult can help with the application process.

The application period for this program opens in May and closes in December every year. You can find the application instructions on the Wishing for Mommy website.

Make a Wish for Adults in Certain Areas

There are some organizations that only offer wishes to people who live in certain areas. This is often due to funding restrictions.

Ally’s Wish (Texas Only)

Ally’s Wish provides wishes to young, terminally ill mothers who are still raising small children. The goal is to create a lasting family memory that will bring comfort to all the members of the family.

This organization has sent moms to Hawaii to swim with dolphins, to Florida to visit Disney World, and on cruises. They’ve helped families build treehouses and so much more. The value of the wish cannot exceed $5,000.

In order to be eligible for help from Ally’s Wish, you need to match these criteria:

  • You must be a US citizen currently living in the US.
  • You must have at least one child under the age of 18.
  • You must be diagnosed with a terminal illness.
  • You must be diagnosed as Stage 4 or terminal. You cannot be participating in a clinical trial.
  • You cannot have received a wish from another organization.

You can apply or refer a mom using the Ally’s Wish form.

An Elderly Wish Foundation (Contra Costa County, CA)

This organization serves a very specific group of people in a very small geographic area. They have granted specific wishes for eligible seniors, such as new wheel chairs, special birthday dinners, or trips to local destinations.

In order to be eligible, you much match these guidelines:

  • You must live in Contra Costa County, California.
  • You must be at least 50 years old.
  • You must be diagnosed with a serious or chronic illness.

If you meet the requirements, you can contact the organization for application instructions.

DreamCatcher Foundation (Hospice Only)

The DreamCatcher Foundation partners with hospice care providers to identify Dreamers. They provide a wish-fulfillment service for those who are eligible but it is not entirely clear what the eligibility requirements are or how it works.

Since they rely on a network of hospice providers to find eligible patients, I would recommend reaching out to your hospice care provider and see if they work with DreamCatcher Foundation. You can also contact the foundation for more information.

Eternal Wish Foundation (Wisconsin Only)

The Eternal Wish Foundation provides experiences for eligible people with a life-threatening disability or terminal illness. Some of their previously granted wishes include a celebrity meet-and-greet with Kenny Chesney and tickets to a Duke Basketball Game.

This organization will only consider applications that are submitted by a physician on a patient’s behalf. You can ask your provider to complete the application on the Eternal Wish website.

The Angel Foundation (Ohio Only)

The Angel Foundation serves terminally-ill adults in Ohio. This organization can help with many different types of wishes, but the wishes currently featured on their website all involved travel to sporting events, Florida, or New York.

In order to be eligible for help from The Angel Foundation, you must meet the following criteria:

  • You must live in Ohio.
  • You must have a terminal diagnosis.
  • You must have a life expectancy that is one year or less.

To get started, click the big blue Request a Wish button on the Angel Foundation website.

Infinite Wishes Foundation (Florida & New Jersey Only)

The Infinite Wishes Foundation serves adults between the ages of 18 and 65 who have been diagnosed with a life-threatening illness. They only serve residents of New Jersey and full-time residents of Florida at this time.

Wishes granted by this organization may include an evening out to dinner, tickets to an event, a trip to visit friends or family, or a vacation to a Florida or New Jersey destination that is within their partnership network.

Contact the Foundation to start your application process.

Senior Wishes (NY Only)

Senior Wishes provides wishes for seniors. They focus on granting wishes that will make a big impact on your quality of life or happiness. You don’t even need a medical diagnosis to apply for a wish!

The wishes granted by this organization include travel to a hometown, reconnecting with a loved one, celebrating a passion, or engaging in an old hobby. Lifelong dreams like riding in a hot air balloon, going to a ballgame or learning a new skill may also be granted.

In order to be eligible, you must meet the following criteria:

  • You must be a US citizen.
  • You must be at least 65 years old.
  • You must live in Erie, Genesee, Niagara, Orleans or Wyoming County in New York.
  • You must have an annual household income that is less than $38,000 for a single person or $44,000 for a couple. If you are a permanent resident of a care facility, that counts too.
  • You must be cognitively, emotionally, and physically capable of communicating and experiencing the wish.
  • You must be unable to fulfill the wish on your own or with help from your family.

To get started, complete the wish application on the Senior Wishes website.

Wish Granters (SW Idaho)

Wish Granters serves terminally ill adults and caregivers who live in the Boise, Idaho area. Their service area is limited to Ada, Canyon and Gem Counties. They hope to expand into other counties in the future, though.

In order to be eligible for help from Wish Granters, you must meet these guidelines:

  • You must be over 18 years old.
  • You must live in Ada, Canyon or Gem Counties.
  • You must be diagnosed with a non-age-related terminal illness.

Some of the wishes granted by this organization include accessibility or mobility supplies, flights, family nights, fancy dates with limo services, themed parties, and more.

Before you can fill out an application, you must submit a wish referral form.

Other Helpful Services

Although these programs aren’t exactly like Make a Wish for adults, they do offer help for people who have received critical or terminal diagnoses. I wanted to include them here because you may still find them useful.

Memories Live

If you have a life-limiting illness, Memories Live may be able to help you create a free legacy movie.

The process is very simple. They will email you a standard list of questions and conversation starters, but you can also create your own. You’ll either record in-person or virtually. Memories Live will then edit the footage, break it into chapters, and include a slideshow of your personal photos. The final product will be sent to you over email.

If you don’t want to appear on camera, you can choose to do an audio recording instead. The goal is to give you and your family something to cherish.

Use the Contact form on the Memories Live website to get started.

Wigs & Wishes

Although Wigs & Wishes only grants wishes to children, they offer free wigs to cancer fighters of all ages. You can use the form on their website to find the closest salon in your area. You’ll attend a consultation, order a wig and attend a fitting.

Get started by using the form on the Wigs & Wishes website.

Summary

If you are dealing with a terminal illness or life-limiting medical condition, you may be eligible for a once-in-a-lifetime dream experience from these wish-granting organizations. It’s like Make a Wish for adults! Each program sets their own eligibility requirements and each one has different limitations on their wishes, so carefully consider all of your options on this list before applying.

Nicole is the owner and lead researcher for Low Income Relief. She has over 20 years of professional research and writing experience, and she has been solely dedicated to investigating low income topics for the last 10 years. Nicole started Low Income Relief after a personal experience with poverty. When her husband was medically discharged from the US Army, their family experienced tremendous financial hardship. Nicole was able to gather help from multiple community agencies and move into a nearby low income housing unit in just two weeks! Since then, Nicole has been dedicated to helping low income families in crisis. She regularly spends hundreds of hours combing through countless resources to make sure that Low Income Relief has the most comprehensive and complete resource directories on the internet today. Prior to starting Low Income Relief, Nicole worked as a novelist, journalist, ghostwriter and content creator. Her work has been featured in various print and online publications, including USA Today, The Daily Herald, The Chronicle and more. Her work has also been featured by Google for Publishers and other leading industry publications.

Joshua Herbst

Thursday 16th of November 2023

Hello, my name is Joshua Herbst, I am 42, I've been in hospice for two months now, I'm hundreds of miles away from my family living in a run down trailer with six other people while I slowly die, I cannot afford my own vehicle, or my own house near my family in Saginaw Michigan, I want so bad to be out of this situation, I'm also trying programs like the dream foundation because when I become so ill i can no longer leave the bed I would like to be able to travel the world by virtual reality, which for a realistic level of VR it's very expensive, https://www.falcon-nw.com/ has the systems best suited for me, I customized two systems, the first was almost 38000 dollars and the cheapest was almost 18000 dollars, the expense is mostly from trying to design the systems with enough power that they can accommodate my handicaps in real time with ai while simultaneously providing an enjoyable experience, I don't know if anybody can help or not but the high end system can provide an almost "im physically here" experience while not being able to move and the low end system is also good just not the audio video quality to convince the senses its real which is why i beg for the high end, I have PDF files with the details of the talon system that is my primary or desired request and the tiki which is my low end or secondary backup request. I don't know what your capabilities are, obviously what I really want as a last wish is the talon system I designed in my PDF, relocation and support from Beckley West Virginia to Saginaw Michigan is also a top request but it would require continuous medium term financial support and last would be my tiki PDF design also from falcon as a last resort request that comes close,

Catherine Marucci

Tuesday 21st of November 2023

Hi Joshua. The links to the applications are in the article. We only provide the information, not the grants. I hope your wish comes true!

Eva

Tuesday 5th of September 2023

I have been diagnosed with 1st stage cancer and did 45 treatment s of radiation n I am still having tests done because they are not sure they got it all but my biggest concern is that I am in 4 th stage liver disease and I am currently working on trying to get rid of the cancer so I can get maybe a lver transplant can you help me make my wish come true for my 3 year old only grandchild want s us to go to meet Micky and Minnie mouse and I would love to make mine and her dream come true if possible I want her to be able to remember me and her memories of going before anything should happen to me n I get to where I can not go but financially can't do this I m on ssi n only received 609.00 a month n I have to stay between family members because I can't be by myself thanks for reading this

Catherine Marucci

Wednesday 6th of September 2023

Hi Eva. If the above organizations have not been helpful, it may be worth calling 211 to see if they know of any other possibilities. I hope you get your dream!

Kimberly Hawkins

Tuesday 5th of September 2023

I'm looking for help to get my husband to a Chicago Bears game at home. He has always wanted to go but we may not make it. Don't have the money because he is on disability and i work but thats not enough.He is weak he has diabetes and Kidney Failure and was turned down for transplant because of his health. They say the average time to be on dialysis is 5 years and he has been on for 2 years now. I just want to make his dream come true. Thank You.

Catherine Marucci

Wednesday 6th of September 2023

Hi Kimberly. If the above organizations have not been helpful, it may be worth calling 211 to see if they know of any other possibilities.

DeAnna

Friday 25th of August 2023

Is there any help for a disabled person who is in desperate need of teeth removal and Dentures? What's left of my teeth is actually making me ill. They are infected, cracked & digging into my gums I have to dig food out of the holes where teeth were and have nerves hanging. I have looked for 4 years and can't find a dentist or anyone to help. If they don't get my mouth straightened out soon, They told me my life would be ending sooner. I am 65 & have been disabled for many years. I can help pay for some of it Please, if there is anyone out there who can help, I would be very appreciative. Blessings for reading this post.

LK

Sunday 27th of August 2023

@DeAnna, I work for one of the biggest health insurance companies on the planet and get this question a lot from folks! Since you're receiving disability, I'm assuming that youve ALSO been disabled long enough to qualify for, and currently receive Medicare/Medicaid. (1) You should call about Medicare Part C?? Dental is usually always included with most of Part C.πŸ‘Œ (2) I don't know what state you live in, but due to a medical condition... I also had to have all of MY teeth removed ten years ago. I went to my local state unemployment office looking for a job, or training for a new job (which they also paid for) and they actually paid for ALL of the dental work... over many visits, AND a complete set of dentures that were made so incredibly well... that I'm still using them today!! I wouldn't wait MUCH longer though, at your age, for this option. (I'm 61 so I'm in no way am bashing your age. πŸ˜‰) But, even if you're NOT looking for work, or career training... its all in how you play the game in the system. We do... what we have to do to survive!! πŸ˜‰Wishing you the best of health! πŸ’•

Catherine Marucci

Friday 25th of August 2023

Hi. I'm so sorry. Finding dental really can be a struggle. Here are some of the options we have found. Hopefully, one of them helps: https://lowincomerelief.com/?s=dental