Since granting their first wish in 1980, the Make-A-Wish® offices in 42 countries around the world have granted more than 410,000 wishes for children with life-threatening illnesses, cementing their reputation as one of the world's leading children's charities.
Today, nearly 75 percent of wishes granted in the US involve travel, with many more travel-related wishes granted around the world. To support these travel wishes, Airbnb has been working with Make-A-Wish America and Make-A-Wish International by providing accommodations and experiences for wish kids across the globe. For 2017, Airbnb has committed to granting a wish a day, donating up to $1 million in travel credits.
Having a friendly face to greet families and a warm home to settle into is a welcome departure from the sterile hospital environments wish kids and families battling critical illnesses are used to. Many say that traveling together for a wish experience makes them feel "normal" again and they feel stronger as a family.
In late 2016, Airbnb made a commitment to grant a wish a day, and pledged $1 million in travel credits to cover accommodations and experiences for Make-A-Wish. Make-A-Wish is never charged for experiences or accommodations, and Airbnb always waives our fee. In addition to these resources, we trained over 100 Make-A-Wish coordinators on how to find the best listing for a family, as well as best practices for host communication and booking. We've also made sure Make-A-Wish is able to take advantage of new opportunities as Airbnb expands beyond homes. When Make-a-Wish comes to us with a wish kid whose wish is in a city where Airbnb Experiences has launched, we work with the family to book an experience that is a good fit.
We are well on our way to achieving 365 wishes this year, celebrating our 100th wish on April 25th. To celebrate this occasion and milestone of Airbnb granting wishes in the most destinations of any partner to date, we followed four wish kids and their families on their adventures around the globe. Victoria, age 14, traveled to Seoul from Montreal for her wish to experience Korean culture and food. Growing up on Staten Island, Shanna, age 14, wished to visit her stepmother's family and relatives in Croatia. Yassir, age 18, traveled to San Francisco from the Netherlands with his family and friend to attend a professional basketball game. Joshua, age 15, dreamed of meeting the one and only SpongeBob SquarePants and visiting theme parks in Orlando with his family of eight.