The Arizona chapter of the Make a Wish foundation continues to be a trailblazer within the program, granting 365 wishes for the fiscal year of 2016, creating a record in Arizona. Created in 1980, Make a Wish Arizona has evolved into a dedicated community volunteers, donors, and families to grant nearly 5,000 wishes for children battling life threatening medical conditions.
The organization started as a wish for young Chris Greicius, who died of leukemia when he was just 7 years old. Chris dreamed of being a police officer. Chris’ mother is a friend with US Customs agent Tommy Austin, who spoke with Arizona Department of Public Safety officer Ron Cox about Chris’ dream. Together, the two helped bring this dream to the boy, giving him and his mother a tour of the DPS offices and grant him an honorary DPS officer, the first and only in Arizona’s history.
Knowing that Chris didn’t have much time left, the officers ordered and delivered Chris his own DPS uniform and set up a course so Chris can qualify for a motorcycle officer’s wings. They present the wings to Chris in his hospital room. Austin and Cox, both moved by Chris, his dream, his life, and his death, found Make a Wish in Phoenix, following Chris’ funeral. The young honorary DPS officer was given the funeral of a fallen officer, helping to spread his story and the idea of a wish granting organization to others in the state.
Since then, the Arizona chapter of Make a Wish continues Chris’ legacy by granting the wishes of children with life threatening medical conditions.
Arizona Charitable Giving is a labor of love created to make it easier for the residents of our great state to search and find local charities that touch their hearts. We share selected charities and events to a large distribution list of Arizona residents via email and social media on a regular basis. Any qualified charitable organizations are welcome to submit their profile to be included in our on-going outreach efforts.