The Twilight Wish Foundation is in the business of granting wishes for seniors. This nonprofit organization was founded in 2003 by Cass Forkin of Bucks County, Pennsylvania, and it was the first national wish granting organization for the elderly.
Twilight Wish honors and acknowledges seniors for all they have given to others by bringing comfort and joy into their lives through individual wish granting celebrations.”
Their mission is:
to honor and enrich the lives of deserving seniors through wish granting celebrations that connect generations.”
The very first wish granted was on January 16, 2004 to an 81 year-old nursing home resident named Margaret who wished to have a tombstone for her deceased son who was buried in an unmarked grave.”
Twilight Wish has grown since 2003. Twilight Wish Foundation has granted over 1,680 wishes and celebrated another 1,000+ seniors in group celebrations.
Wish granting for eligible seniors is free for them. Here are exampes of various kinds of wishes:
Simple Needs Wishes
- Air conditioners
- Hearing aids
- Lift chairs
- Visual aids
Celebrating a Life Wishes:
- Visits to hometowns
- Family reunions
- Visits to places of comfort and joy
- Living Life to the Fullest Wishes
- Fun and lifelong wishes such as ride on a motorcycle sidecar
- Ride in a blimp
- Be a star in a parade float
- Publish a book
- Meeting a celebrity
- Going to a baseball game
- Dancing on Broadway
- Traveling somewhere special
- Fly in a fighter jet
To qualify to receive a wish a senior must be:
- 68 years old or older
- Have an income under 200% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines http://aspe.hhs.gov/poverty/12poverty.shtml or $22,340.00.
- Be able to document that you have lived your life in service to others
By treating the elderly with compassion, we restore their dignity and bring them hope.
“Twilight Wish enhances the quality of life for vulnerable, low-income elderly by granting needed or desired wishes that reduce isolation and inspire and uplift them, promoting improved mental health and overall well-being. By treating the elderly with compassion, we restore their dignity and bring them hope.”
Twilight Wish Foundation has other components besides the wish-granting program:
- Intergenerational Education Program (IEP) which encourages younger generations to engage with older generations, specifically those living in nursing or assisted living facilities. The program matches schools with the facilities.” By raising awareness of the issues that elders face on a daily basis, we create a better understanding of aging through education and hands-on experience. It is our goal that the younger generations will perpetuate granting Twilight Wishes for seniors into the future through education and by their example.”
- Dining Unexpected Thank You program (DUTY): “if a diner sees an elderly person eating out and would like to treat them to a meal, they hand the DUTY card to a waitress and pay that person’s bill. In turn, the waitress presents the card to the recipient as a thank you for everything they have done over the years. It is up to the sponsor whether or not they wish to remain anonymous. The end result is the elderly person is acknowledged and thanked by younger generations, bringing them comfort, happiness and joy.”
”One-third of all wishes granted are for veterans. Veterans’ wishes can fall into any of the other three programs, but we differentiate for this program as it gives us all an opportunity to thank veterans, many in nursing homes, for what they specifically have done for others over the years and acknowledge that we remember and care.
The national headquarters is located in Doylestown, PA. There are also currently active chapters in Pittsburgh and Erie, PA, Georgia, Arizona, California, Washington, Idaho, New Jersey, New York, Florida, Virginia, Illinois and West Virginia.
For more information on how you can help, or to find out if you or an elderly loved one can have a wish granted, please call 215-230-8777 ext. 102, or e-mail Volunteer Director@TwilightWish.org.
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