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Refer a Child

Wishes Transform Lives

We are on a quest to bring every eligible child’s wish to life, because wishes are an important part of a child’s treatment journey. Wishes provide kids hope when they need it most, and research shows they have effects on children’s overall well-being and health outcomes.

In fact, wishes have proven physical and emotional benefits that can give children with critical illnesses a higher chance of survival. When a wish is granted, a child replaces fear with confidence, sadness with joy and anxiety with hope.

Every wish experience begins with a referral.

We rely on wish referrals from caring individuals to help us reach more kids with critical illnesses. The eligibility consideration process is initiated when a wish referral inquiry is submitted to the local chapter. Learn more about who is eligible for a wish, who can refer a child, and how the referral process works.


Who is Eligible?

A child with a critical illness who has reached the age of 2½ and is younger than 18 at the time of referral is potentially eligible for a wish.

Who Can Refer a Child?

Potential wish kids, medical professionals, parents, legal guardians and family members with detailed knowledge of the child's current medical condition can initiate the referral process.

What Can A Child Wish For?

The child's imagination is always the driving force in determining, designing and coordinating the wish experience. Wish requests typically fall into one of five categories, but every wish is unique and powerful.

Referral Inquiry Form

You may use our online inquiry form, or contact your local chapter, to get more information about referring a child who lives in the United States or one of its territories.

Share the Referral Inquiry Form

Share our online inquiry form with someone who can refer a child who lives in the United States or one of its territories.

Referrals and eligibility

Make-A-Wish accepts referrals from:

  • Children being treated for a critical illness
  • Medical professionals (typically a doctor, nurse, social worker or child-life specialist)
  • Parents or legal guardians
  • Family members with detailed knowledge of the child's current medical condition

To be eligible, children must meet these criteria at the time of referral:
  • Diagnosed with a critical illness, i.e., a progressive, degenerative or malignant condition that is placing the child's life in jeopardy
  • Older than 2½ years and younger than 18
  • Has not received a wish from another wish-granting organization
Refer a child
Make-A-Wish® South Dakota
1400 West 17th Street
Sioux Falls, SD 57104
(605) 335-8000
Toll Free (800) 640-9198
Make-A-Wish® South Dakota, Black Hills Office
14 Saint Joseph St. Suite 302
Rapid City, SD 57701
(605) 791-4500
Toll Free (800) 640-9198