Much of the news reported today is bleak and grim. Violence, death, war, and crime take place all around the world. However, in the midst of all this turmoil, magnificent people in all parts of the United States are helping to make wishes come true.
Many U.S. citizens are quite familiar with granting wishes. This year, the U.S. is the only country to rank in the Top 10 for all three of the charitable giving behaviors covered by the World Giving Index: helping a stranger, volunteering time, and donating money.
Each year Charities Aid Foundation (CAF) provides a report called the World Giving Index, which looks at charitable behavior of people and businesses granting wishes around the world, involving 135 countries. The 2014 edition shows the United States strengthening its reputation for charitable giving from previous years.
Here are some examples of how people are granting wishes by donating their time, money, and even their body parts.
For example, Waylon Holden donated more than 60 percent of his liver to save his father, Mickey Holden who was dying from a genetic disease.
The 29-year-old son told ABC’s WFAA his way of granting his father’s wishes to live longer, be able see his grandchildren grow up, and get a second chance to live.
“He got really sick. There were a few times where we weren’t sure if he was going to make it or not.”
Mickey did make it with the help of medical professionals and his son.
Waylon said this about his father’s recovery.
“It feels pretty good. It’s wonderful. I don’t really think of it as saving my dad’s life. I was blessed with the opportunity to give him a second chance.”
Because of the surgery, Waylon has a 10-inch, horizontal scar on his stomach where three-fifths of his liver was removed and implanted in his father.
Another story of wishes being granted comes from a law firm in Long Island, New York. Genser, Dubow, Genser, and Cona, an elder law and estate-planning firm, voted to award member’s donations to Senior Dreams Come True.
Senior Dreams Come True grants wishes to low-income seniors, helping them to meet their basic needs. Some of the wishes they grant come in the form of assistance in medical bills and prescriptions, dental work, wheel chair accessibility, chair lifts, and home improvements.
Charter member, Melissa Negrin-Wiener shared her thoughts on why this charity needed to receive donations.
“Senior Dreams Come True is so grateful to be in receipt of this generous donation. We are thrilled that we will be able to help so many more Long Island seniors in need. We would like to thank the members of 100 Women Who Care About Long Island for seeing what a huge need there is to assist seniors on a local level.”
Wishes don’t have to be life changing; they can simply stir up fond memories.
A few nostalgic wishes were granted to 91-year-old retired teacher from Rohnert Park, Clara Blasingame. Her wishes included going back in time and being able to drive a 1937 Ford coupe. She told her sons she wanted to drive it just one more time.
In 1937, Clara took her first-ever drive in the Ford coupe in Knoxville, Tenn. The car was brand new then. Now, the car’s black paint is shot and the glass needed to be replaced. Nonetheless, Clara’s wishes to drive the car one more time and relive the past were granted with the help of her daughter, Brenda, and sons, Ken and Ron Blasingame. They got the car out of storage, did some work on it, and prepared it for their mother to take another spin.
When her family escorted Clara to the old car, it took a moment for her to figure out what was going on.
Clara called out to everyone.
“Oh, that’s the Ford! That’s the Ford!”
Clara expressed her excitement to The Press Democrat.
“Amazing! I learned to drive in this car when I was 13-years-old.”
Her family led her to the driver’s door and invited her to drive it once more.
Clara expressed her hesitation to the family as her 15-year-old grandson Malik Blasingame joined her for a ride.
“I don’t know if I can drive it or not.”
Well, Clara did.
Wishes don’t always come true. Perhaps it is idealistic to think they can. Nevertheless, being capable of granting wishes may offer just as much joy and satisfaction as having a wish come true.
[Photo courtesy of petfinder]