Indiana Wish Spreads Holiday Magic

Writer / Natalie Gargiulo
Photography Provided

In a heartwarming display of compassion and generosity, Indiana Wish has touched the lives of a local family, bringing joy to a young girl battling Rett syndrome.Indiana Wish

Last year the Avant family, residents of Noblesville, experienced the joy of a lifetime as their daughter, Ruby, 5, was gifted a magical one-week paid trip to Disney World in Florida.

Ruby, who was diagnosed with the rare neurological disease as an infant, found delight in the enchanting world of Mickey and Minnie, thanks to the efforts of Indiana Wish and its donors.

“We are incredibly grateful for this blessing,” say Amanda and Mike Avant, Ruby’s parents. “Experiencing the joy and support for Ruby was so uplifting to our entire family. All of the many special moments during the trip, watching Ruby smile and laugh, will last with us forever.”

Established in 1984, Indiana Wish has been a symbol of hope for children aged 3 to 18 facing life-threatening illnesses. With a focus on fulfilling heartfelt desires, the organization has granted over 3,500 wishes, including magical trips to Disney, exciting shopping sprees and memorable celebrity encounters. There have even been some unique wishes fulfilled like meeting former presidents and the Pope, working with Mother Teresa, and bringing a grandmother to the United States from Ethiopia to visit her grandchild.Indiana Wish

“Having the privilege of connecting with families and witnessing the profound impact of providing them with a lasting, cherished moment, especially in the face of challenging times, is truly a blessing,” says Indiana Wish Executive Director J’Lynn Mayes. “Knowing that these experiences become enduring gifts for parents and siblings, even in the midst of heartbreak, highlights the significance of what we do.”

The average cost of each wish amounts to $12,000, highlighting the significant financial commitment the nonprofit makes to fulfill each child’s dream.

“Sharing who we are and the impact of the Indiana Wish mission is so important,” Mayes says. “Whether it’s a $10 or a $10,000 donation, each contribution plays a vital role in bringing families together and making our mission a reality. Donors may not always grasp the full impact, but their support, big or small, collectively creates a meaningful difference in the lives of those we serve. It’s heartwarming to offer support, and for those who contribute, they’re providing the invaluable gift of creating meaningful memories for others.”

As the holiday season approaches, Indiana Wish gears up for its annual Christmas in the Kitchen fundraising event, aiming to raise funds for more unforgettable experiences like Ruby’s.

Christmas in the Kitchen, scheduled for December 7, promises to be an evening of joy and fundraising, uniting the local community in the spirit of giving and sharing.

Indiana WishMayes, who has been associated with Indiana Wish since 1992, says the Christmas event is one of the nonprofit’s largest fundraisers.

Attendees will go behind the scenes of the chef’s domain and enter the Hyatt Regency Indianapolis kitchen to sample an extravaganza of both unique and familiar foods.

The Avant family’s heartwarming story illustrates the profound impact that Indiana Wish continues to make in the lives of families facing unimaginable challenges. As the community joins hands in support of this noble cause, the nonprofit’s mission to spread joy and create lasting memories for children like Ruby remains constant, embodying the true spirit of the holiday season.

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