DeVos Family Foundation Aims to Encourage and Strengthen Community with Donation to Make-A-Wish Central and Northern Florida

Dan Savage
Director of Digital News

ORLANDO – For children diagnosed with critical illnesses, hope can be a crucial turning point in their care outcomes and lives long-term.

Instilling belief and uplifting spirits can forever transform the lives of children, their families and entire communities. This vision is the guiding principle behind the Make-A-Wish Foundation, which strives to grant life-changing wishes for children going through incredibly challenging situations.

Make-A-Wish Central and Northern Florida executes this same mission locally. The chapter – just like the parent organization – aims to step in when a child and their family’s lives are disrupted by a serious diagnosis and looks to provide elements of encouragement and strength by granting a child’s one true wish.

“It’s during this time that Make-A-Wish steps in to grant the child’s wish,” said Make-A-Wish Central and Northern Florida President and CEO Anne Cuba. “When a wish is granted, hope, joy, and strength are created for the child and also the family. So, it’s really important that the whole family is included in the process because they’re going through everything with the child when they’re diagnosed with a critical illness. The hope that is given to a family and to a child is indescribable. It transforms their lives. Often times, we hear from medical professionals that it has a significant difference on the child’s physical health.”

As part of its 30 Grants for 30 Years Initiative, the DeVos Family Foundation has donated $30,000 to enable Make-A-Wish Central and Northern Florida to continue to create those magical moments for children and their families in the area.

“We rely on the support of the local community. When we found out that the DeVos Family Foundation was going to partner with Make-A-Wish, we were beyond thrilled,” said Cuba. “The funding is going to make a significant difference (in) the lives of children right here in our local community.”

Similar to many aspects of society, Make-A-Wish has been heavily impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Not only have they had to reimagine wishes in some instances, but they’ve also had to adjust their normal fundraising activities and schedule. Despite those challenges, the chapter was able to grant over 236 wishes to kids in the local community in the last year alone.

The Orlando Magic and the DeVos family have worked closely with Make-A-Wish over the years. Whether through funding or meeting players on the team as part of a child’s wish, the relationship between the organizations goes back a long way. As meeting sports heroes ranks

among the top wish choices, knowing that the local team is behind them makes a huge impact in children’s lives.

“The community has stepped forward, and the Orlando Magic and the DeVos Family Foundation’s funding (will) enable us to continue our mission of granting wishes in our community to keep hope going, (which) is so pivotal and integral to our success,” said Cuba. “They’re behind that hope, that strength, and that joy. And that the heroes in our community are stepping forward to create funding for more wishes to come true, it really means a lot.”

Make-A-Wish Central and Northern Florida becomes the 10th grant announced as part of the DeVos family’s 30 Grants for 30 Years Initiative. Others include the Orlando Magic Youth Foundation, the New Image Youth Center, Habitat for Humanity Greater Orlando & Osceola County, the Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida, Dress for Success Greater Orlando, ELEVATE Orlando, Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Florida, Heart of Florida United Way, and First Tee – Central Florida.

As part of the DeVos family’s 30 Grants for 30 Years Initiative, a total of $3 million will be donated to 30 area nonprofit organizations over an 18-month period as they aim to invest in people and projects impacting youth, essential needs for families, and community enrichment across Central Florida.

“There are tremendous things happening in the Orlando community every day,” said Magic Chairman Dan DeVos. “We wanted to mark this 30-year milestone by coming alongside nonprofits in the community to assist them in their important work.”