A Wish with Wings (AWWW), a Texas charity based in Fort Worth, is currently celebrating its 40th anniversary, and its Wish House office in the Arlington Heights district is being renovated by a team of employees from local biotechnology firm Alcon.
AWWW has granted more than 1,700 wishes to children diagnosed with life-threatening conditions since 1982, thanks to the work of volunteers from across the Lone Star State.
The Wish House serves as the AWWW headquarters office and a recreation center for children enrolled in various programs.
According to a recent broadcast by NBC 5 in Dallas, it only took a day for the volunteers from Alcon to clear out and clean up a lot next door to the Wish House. Although they did this during a day when temperatures surpassed 100 degrees, none of them complained.
This was not the first time employees from Alcon Laboratories have completed charity work for AWWW. The company manages an “Alcon in Action” program that encourages workers to get involved in corporate responsibility projects.
Alcon in Action is not done with its work at AWWW. The group has also donated a swing set and other playground equipment that will soon be installed on the lot the volunteers cleared.
The good work of Alcon in Action volunteers is not limited to the Dallas-Fort Worth region. Since 2019, this initiative has involved employees from more than 30 countries where the ophthalmology giant operates. Their goal is to accumulate as many volunteer hours as possible throughout the year, with a strong focus on completing projects at the community level.
AWWW is the most active “wish experience” charity in Texas. It was formed two years after the national Make-a-Wish Foundation and shares the same noble mission of helping children whose lives have been upturned by critical illness.
Wish experiences can range from swimming with dolphins to getting hands-on tours of military installations. Children provide the wishes that AWWW works to grant and deliver.
There is a misconception about wish experiences granted for palliative reasons or as a “last request” from children who do not expect to live long, AWWW says, when the reality is that the charities’ work is motivated by hope. The joy children experience when they see their wishes come true gives them hope that they will live to see more of their wishes granted.
Some of the wishes recently granted by AWWW include gifting a custom tuba made in Germany to Payden, a talented teenager whose Hodgkin’s lymphoma improved enough for him to graduate high school and complete a college music program.
These days, Payden lives in North Texas and teaches music to elementary school students. His condition has improved considerably since he was diagnosed in 2010, and this has allowed him to continue playing his tuba on a daily basis.