Ovation: The Twilight Wish Foundation.
Several years ago, I stopped wanting to “get stuff” and I started wanting to “do things”. I’d spent the better part of my adult life collecting things to assemble a home and I’d finally determined that my home was comfortable and cozy and I didn’t want any further clutter. But, at the same time, it occurred to me that time would soon be running out. Now I collect memories. I collect as many as possible as frequently as I can and I hold on to them so tightly I can’t imagine that I’ll ever for get them. I wish I had paid closer attention when I was younger and that I’d started consciously collecting memories soon. “Wish in one hand …” Granny would say.
Sometimes it’s not too late to get your wish.
Eleven years ago last May, Cass Forkin was having lunch at a diner in Doylestown, Pennsylvania, when she noticed several elderly ladies struggling to put together enough money to pay their lunch tab so she paid it for them. Their gratitude inspired her to found Twilight Wish Foundation, the first national wish-granting organization specifically aimed at making wishes come true for elderly senior citizens. The organization grants wishes to deserving folks, ages 68 and older, who earn less than 200% of poverty level annually, or who live in nursing facilities. By treating them with compassion, the organization feels that they help restore the seniors’ dignity and bring them hope.
Recent recipients are thrilled with their gifts!
Clara, who says she was always a party girl and loved to go dancing, missed out on a “girls’ night out” in her younger days because her husband was afraid that other men would flirt with her. Her wish was granted when she received a ticket on a Friday night “Oldies Dinner Cruise”. “I don’t get to leave the house much, so I’m very excited,” said Clara. “And if a man wants to dance with me, I’ll try to dance with him!”
Charlie and his friends are all huge baseball fans and watching the games in the main dining room of their nursing facility is often the highlight of their day. Since most are wheelchair bound, the possibility of actually attending a ball game was out of the question until Twilight Wish made it possible for Charlie and seven friends to a major league game where they managed to get great seats, eat hot dogs and cheese steaks and even drink beer! Charlie, apparently, told everyone that it was the second greatest day of his life … second only to his wedding day in Hawaii.
George was a lonely man with no family to speak of who was forced to retire because of health issues after working more than forty years of his life as an electrician, mostly working on carnival rides. Because he was so depressed and lonely, Twilight Wish arranged for him to spend a day at a carnival where he surprised former co-workers who had, actually, thought George had passed away. “I didn’t know such an organization existed. They made it possible for me to see everyone again, which is nice because I don’t have family that comes to visit me. Most of my days are spent sitting and watching TV” he said.
“We’re asking everyone to help make our world become a nicer place to age, one wish at a time, and help those who cannot make their own wishes come true in the twilight of their lives.” – Cass Forkin
The foundation has granted more than 2,000 wishes ranging from simple basic needs, like hearing aids or special chairs, to more elaborate lifelong wishes, like riding in a fighter jet. Anyone can get involved in making a wish possible by fundraising, organizing or becoming a part of a local chapter. Visit www.TwilightWish.org to learn more.
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