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‘If you could have one wish, what would it be?’

Wheels for Wishes celebrates $5 million raised for Make-A-Wish New Jersey. PHOTO COURTESY OF MAKE-A-WISH NEW JERSEY

Wheels for Wishes celebrates $5 million raised for Make-A-Wish New Jersey

In 2001, Megan Crowley had a wish to go to Walt Disney World and meet the princesses.

That wish came true thanks to Make-A-Wish New Jersey, which grants wishes for children with critical illnesses.

Crowley, of Princeton, was diagnosed with a rare genetic disorder called Pompe disease at 15 months old. Today, she serves as the assistant director of mission integration at Make-A-Wish New Jersey.

She shared her story with Loren Dorshow, executive director of Car Donation Foundation, who joined members of Make-A-Wish New Jersey on a tour of Samuel & Josephine Plumeri Wishing Place in Monroe Township, Middlesex County, and an intimate, emotional, inspiring program with wish families.

Make-A-Wish and the Car Donation Foundation recently announced a significant fundraising milestone of $100 million raised nationwide through the Wheels for Wishes program.

Surpassing the $100 million mark is an achievement that only a few sponsors and supporters have reached since the founding of Make-A-Wish in 1980. Make-A-Wish New Jersey has directly received over $5 million of the national funds raised over the past 13 years, helping to grant life-changing wishes for hundreds of children with critical illnesses throughout the Garden State, according to a press release through Make-A-Wish New Jersey.

Since its start in 2010, the Car Donation Foundation has received thousands of donated cars, trucks, SUVs, motorcycles, RVs and even boats, which are then auctioned to new owners or recycled. The proceeds benefit the local Make-A-Wish chapter where the car donation is made, funding life-changing wishes and restoring hope in families’ lives at a time when hope is needed most.

“We are grateful for the support of long-standing partners like our friends at Wheels for Wishes Car Donation Foundation,” shared Tom Weatherall, president and CEO of Make-A-Wish New Jersey. “Since 2010, over $5 million of their $100 million raised nationwide through their program has been contributed to our chapter right here in New Jersey.

“These vital funds have helped us to reach hundreds of wish children and their families. We rely on the benevolence of the community, to give us the confidence each year to go out and find more eligible children and ask them that magical question that brings our mission to life – ‘if you could have one wish, what would it be?’

“With support from friends like Loren Dorshow and the Wheels for Wishes program, no matter what that child’s answer may be, we are able to tell them that their wish will be granted,” Weatherall said.

Dorshow said hearing the inspiring wish stories in a wish-granting castle “serves as a reminder for why we wake up and work to support the amazing mission of Make-A-Wish New Jersey.”

“Wish kids and their families are an inspiration to us all, and we are proud to benefit them through our Wheels for Wishes car donation program,” he said.

The process to make a tax-deductible donation through the Wheels for Wishes program is simple. People with a vehicle they’d like to donate can fill out a simple form on the Wheels for Wishes website at wheelsforwishes.org/newjersey. They will then be contacted within 24 hours to coordinate a pickup using cost-free towing.

The wishes that Wheels for Wishes helps to grant can play an important part in the healing process for children with critical illnesses. Wishes can mark a turning point in a child’s treatment and restore hope, strength and joy in their lives.

For more information about Make-A-Wish New Jersey visit nj.wish.org.

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