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Chapter History

Make-A-Wish® Greater Los Angeles was founded on the notion of "one child, one wish" in 1983. Since that time, we have brightened the lives of more than 9,500 children with a wide range of life-threatening medical conditions.

The idea to form Make-A-Wish Greater Los Angeles was generated from an article in the TRW Company Newsletter. Los Angeles sales representative Michael Lewis was waiting for his meeting to begin when he read the article about a charity in Phoenix, Arizona that was doing wonderful things for sick children.

He rushed home and gathered together a group who began working with the Phoenix office to set up a chapter in the Greater Los Angeles area, which was incorporated as the 15th chapter in the national network on April 1, 1983.

In that first year, 12 wishes were granted, including the chapter's inaugural for 11-year-old Gary from Ventura who wished for a VCR of his own. Volunteers presented the new VCR and one year of complimentary video rentals to him while he was still in the hospital. His smile became the first of many for Make-A-Wish Greater Los Angeles.

While medical technology and treatments have allowed the children we serve to lead longer lives, we continue to strive towards our ultimate mission of fulfilling a wish for every child diagnosed with a life-threatening medical condition in Los Angeles County.

Our National History

The group that Mike Lewis worked with in Phoenix became Make-A-Wish America, our national organization. Read more here.

Latest Status Update

  • "She had such a rough year with her treatments for #leukemia and working so hard to graduate high school and maintain her 4.3 GPA. She really went beyond what anyone expected of her. In addition to all this, her grandmother passed away unexpectedly 3 days after she got out of the hospital and that was devastating for all of us but especially hard on Catherine. They were best friends and Catherine really never got to talk to her about her diagnosis. Too much suffering for one young girl. 💙 Our family has had our share of challenges too. Her brother, who she is extremely close to, suffered in his own way because he felt guilty that he didn't get sick instead of her. He also had to support her from college, which was hard for him. We ran ourselves ragged trying to help her apply to college and then just getting her back and forth daily to her infusions. It was difficult and stressful. This trip was truly a blessing for our entire family. It really settled us and gave us time to remember how much we love each other and how thankful we are to be together. 🐳🌤For Catherine, this trip really signified the beginning of the next chapter of her life. From the moment we got there she wanted to do everything! She was very mindful that she had been given a gift, not only from the Make-A-Wish Los Angeles, but just the gift of life. She was not going to waste one second. " - Catherine's Mom . . 📸: Catherine, 17 (affected by cancer), has been granted her wish to swim with sharks in Mo'orea . . *Before the summer is officially over there's still time to double your donations since our board members are matching all gifts dollar for dollar. Consider giving today to double your impact and change lives of kids like Catherine. ♥️ >> #MakeAWishLA Love What Matters #lovewhatmatters #ChildhoodCancerAwareness

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birthday cakeThe Greater Los Angeles chapter is celebrating more than 34 years of granting wishes to local children.

Learn More About Us

   Learn How To Become A Wish Volunteer

Did You Know?

Approximately 70% of donations go to program costs.

Make-A-Wish Greater Los Angeles takes pride in being a careful steward of our donor dollars. Nearly 74% of each dollar received goes directly to funding the wishes that we fulfill. For your reference, view our recent financial documents.

Make-A-Wish® Greater Los Angeles
11390 W. Olympic Blvd.
Suite 300
Los Angeles, CA 90064
(310) 788-9474
Toll Free Los Angeles Only (800) 322-9474