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Make A Wish

I write an advertising piece each Friday for an e-mail newsletter I like to send out. This one from June seemed to strike a chord with people, thankfully. I got more response to it than any other I've sent out.

Friday, 6/21/02

I had an experience this week I thought was worth conveying.

I was fortunate enough to be invited to help create some work on behalf of Make-A-Wish, the organization that literally makes miracles happen for children who are ill. (The invite to be involved came from Workshop, the talented design/marketing outfit in Irvine, who’s done work for them before.)

We had a photo shoot to do this past week with a bunch of the kids (and a corresponding video document to produce.) Well, as you can imagine, it was destined to be an emotional day. After all, these are children who have been dealt some of the harshest blows imaginable. (As one mom said of her seven year old, leukemia stricken angel, "She hasn’t even had any time yet to make any mistakes in life. Yet she has to deal with this…")

But for all of the grave situations and brutally unfair diagnoses in the room, it was a palpable joy that ruled the day. These kids were all smiling, all funny, engaging and positive. And I think a prime reason for this are the efforts of Make-A-Wish.

Sure, many of these kids are still in the throes of battle against their diseases. But they are also fresh off the heels of their wishes being granted. Swimming with dolphins, meeting with Brittany Spears—we heard about lots of them that day. To hear both parent and child relive their wish being granted demonstrated the power of this organization. Because in that moment, they were perhaps able to forget the disease. And the hospital. And all the other pain that goes along with being sick.

All of the kids we spent time with seem to be winning their fights. And I believe some of the credit should go to Make-A-Wish. Because their efforts don’t stop after a wish has been granted. They maintain an ongoing program of parties, time, attention and compassion. They give tired, understandably frustrated parents some respite and a shoulder when they need. They are like medicine for the soul; an endless supply of good feeling and caring.

Make-A-Wish is a brand defined by their behavior. Their "product" is both a selfless dedication to making kids’ dreams come true and helping parents cope—and the resulting hope that people feel.

Great clients (I know firsthand) can teach you about marketing and advertising. This is a client who has taught me about life. About patience, unselfishness and the importance of helping a child who maybe can’t play catch with dad, take ballet lessons with her little girlfriends, or go chasing a dog in a field. Not yet. But through the efforts of these remarkable people, all of a sudden those things seem more within reach.

If you think you can be of service to this incredible force, I encourage you to contact them. Once you hear some of the stories, I bet you’ll want to do everything in your power to help restore some of the dreams, innocence and wonder to these kids. After all, that’s what happens when a wish comes true.

Chris Epting
President/Creative Director
The Surf City Advertising Company

 

 
 
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