Okay, just called me a witch with a “B” but I’m just not all that into the whole Make-a-Wish thing. Yes, it is a wonderful thing, to be able to grant a child a special wish, but do you take out an entire city to let a five-year-old be Batman for a day? Miles Scott made headlines all over the country, including a DOJ certificate and a line from President Obama. It is wonderful, beautiful, and the kid was absolutely adorable. He was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia eighteen months ago and is in remission.
The way San Francisco turned out to give the adorable little guy a special day is heart-warming. It restores your humanity. People are disparate to help and do things for others. The Make-a-Wish Foundation in SF dis something like 340 wishes last year. In 2011, nationally, over 14,000 wishes were granted. Something like 27,000 kids are diagnosed each year with life-threatening diseases. With children the age of 2-5 there is a 94% disease free survival rate for 5 years – and appear ‘cured’. For adults there is a 30%-40% five year survival rate. Mortality rates for children are below 5%. There are about 6,000 new cases in the US, each year. There are about 1,400 deaths each year, mostly adults, something like 4 out of 5 deaths.
Call me a pain, but I just don’t approve of the entire concept. First, it is emotional manipulation. What was done to Ina Garten, the Barefoot Contessa, a few years, was deplorable. Allegedly a six-year-old kid with the same disease Miles Scott had, wanted to meet the Food Network star. Yea, right. So, the family says the blackmailed chef was deprived of meeting her. What six-year-old kid wants to meet a chef? By the time the emotional blackmail and abuse had ended, her career was damaged.
That’s the problem with the warm and fuzzy demand for celebs, the famous and infamous, to give up their time, for free, to surrender to emotional blackmail. People should not be required to grant precious time if they don’t want to. If I were in a position where meeting me was a wish (boy someone would need to be hard-up) I would not be meeting with sick kids. There are people who simply can’t deal with being around little kids, especially those who are sick. I am one of those.
John Cena of the WWE had granted well over 300 wishes to kids, the record holder for wish granters. That’s cool. If a person can do it, emotionally, more power to them. Evidently the WWE people are really good at working with these kids. That’s wonderful!
And so, Patricia Wilson, of the Bay Area Make-A-Wish Foundation basked in the moment and the glory. She should. It was a job well done – or was it? I disapprove of the entire concept of Make-A-Wish, for more than one reason. From Charity Navigator, we learn that the national foundation (as of August, 2012) had nearly $42 million bucks on hand. That’s a heck of a lot of money. One of the things you read is that they feel badly because they can ONLY help about 14,000 kids each year. They have forty one million bucks in assets.
They only help kids who are ill, or near terminal, the ones that, like the adorable little Batman, get the best publicity. Do you see anyone helping children who have been abused, girls who have been molested and raped? What about make-overs for these girls? Nope – nothing, zip, nada, zilch. There are no good headlines with it.
Forty-one million bucks in assets and they only help 14,000 children a year by granting wishes. Sorry, but that’s a pile of bull sh*t. Want to really make a difference? Why not spreading that money out and giving the family of each terminal family a hundred thousand bucks to make their lives easier? Why not help with some house payments, or a car payment? Why not pick up the power bill?
I don’t know about you, but I am constantly seeing very sad, pathetic little jars, begging to help with expenses for some little kid who isn’t important, who isn’t adorable, and doesn’t have just the right photogenic family. They are likely losing their home, barely able to make ends meet. The families are struggling, just to survive. Are they getting any help from Make-A-Wish? No.
All those adorable little Batkids, and wishes granted are a joke. Instead of doing the shallow and superficial, why not help these families survive. No, they won’t get big headlines, and be able to manipulate and blackmail celebs into posing for million dollar fund-raising photos. They can’t twist the good hearts of Americans. They can’t raise money off giving real money to real families to help them survive.
It doesn’t work that way.
Don’t expect me to ever approve of what Make-A-Wish does. Frankly, I find it deplorable, disgusting, and highway robbery. Holy Bat-Crap Robin! Sure, an adorable little kid made a feel-good moment. While this was happening, how many families of other little kids were struggling to save their hopes, put gas in the car, food on the table, and to just survive?
I expect there are thousands.
Nope, I only feel contempt.