Make-A-Wish® executives joined UnitedHealthcare employees to celebrate the 30th anniversary of Make-A-Wish Connecticut and recognize "World Wish Day" at the company's 185 Asylum St. offices. UnitedHealthcare donated more than $16,000 to help Make-A-Wish fulfill wishes for children in Connecticut with life-threatening medical conditions through its "Stars of Hope" campaign.
"World Wish Day" honors the anniversary of the first wish ever granted, which was to a seven-year-old boy named Chris who wished to be a police officer. Granting his wish inspired the creation of Make-A-Wish in the United States 36 years ago and sparked a global wish-granting movement.
UnitedHealthcare employees purchased more than 1,600 stars during a two-week Wishes at Work® campaign to support children's wishes in Connecticut. These stars were displayed during the Make-A-Wish Connecticut 30th anniversary celebration and in recognition of "World Wish Day" Friday, April 29. Make-A-Wish also shared a new wish that was fulfilled through efforts like UnitedHealthcare's.
Nineteen-year-old Wish Kid Brianna recently returned from her Make-A-Wish experience, travelling to London and Paris to see Big Ben, Buckingham Palace, the Eiffel Tower and Notre Dame, among other sites. "I got to walk where kings and queens walked and view Paris from the Eiffel Tower at night. These memories will help me through the hard times," Brianna said.
"We have collaborated with UnitedHealth Group and its caring employees for more than 10 years, enabling us to fund countless wishes in Connecticut and across the country," said Pam Keough, president and CEO of Make-A-Wish Connecticut. "The continued success of its annual statewide campaign demonstrates that UnitedHealthcare's employees take our mission to heart, so we can make more wishes come true."
Make-A-Wish Connecticut began granting wishes to local children in 1986 and has made more than 2,600 wishes come true over the past 30 years. Wishes inspire imagination and happiness, and enable children to spend precious time with their families. More than 200 wishes were granted in its 2015 fiscal year, and more than 240 wishes will be granted in the coming year.
"Wish Kids have such strong spirits, moving our employees to want to do more to help make their wishes come true," said Stephen Farrell, CEO, UnitedHealthcare of New England. "We are grateful for the opportunity to partner with Make-A-Wish Connecticut to help kids be kids."
The Make-A-Wish Foundation® of Connecticut grants the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions to enrich the human experience with hope, strength and joy. Wish-come-true experiences can do wonders by providing a much-needed break from lengthy hospital stays and medical treatments. They give back to a child what a serious medical condition can take away – the chance to simply enjoy being a kid. Wish Kids often choose something that will inspire happiness and allow them to spend precious time with their families. The Connecticut chapter has made more than 2,600 wishes come true since its inception in 1986. Learn more about Connecticut wishes at www.ct.wish.org, or join Make-A-Wish on Facebook (search Make-A-Wish Connecticut), Twitter (@MakeAWishCT) and Instagram (@MakeAWishCT).
UnitedHealthcare is dedicated to helping people nationwide live healthier lives by simplifying the health care experience, meeting consumer health and wellness needs, and sustaining trusted relationships with care providers. The company offers the full spectrum of health benefit programs for individuals, employers, military service members, retirees and their families, and Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries, and contracts directly with more than 1 million physicians and care professionals, and 6,000 hospitals and other care facilities nationwide. UnitedHealthcare is one of the businesses of UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH), a diversified Fortune 50 health and well-being company. For more information, visit UnitedHealthcare at www.uhc.com or follow @myUHC on Twitter.