Colorado Nonprofit Fulfilling Seniors’ Wishes
Most people are familiar with the Make-A-Wish Foundation that helps children’s dreams come true. Now there is a Colorado-based organization doing something very similar for folks at the opposite end of the age spectrum. It’s called Wish of a Lifetime, and it boasts a mission of changing “the way society views and values our oldest generations by fulfilling older adults’ dreams and sharing their stories to inspire those of all ages.” Wish of a Lifetime (WOAL) wants society to embrace aging and its inherent wisdom. As part of that goal, WOAL invites anyone to submit a wish via its online application form for a deserving older adult. Examples of reasons for wishes might be commemorating someone’s service to country, fulfilling lifelong dreams, reconnecting loved ones, celebrating passions, and more. WOAL says aging should be celebrated, but negative views of aging leave older Americans isolated with fewer opportunities to connect with their communities, purpose, and passions in life. “With each wish granted,” WOAL says, “older adults across the country are reconnected with the communities, passions, and people they love, helping them to live more vibrant and purposeful lives. After their wish experience, over 90% of recipients reported increases in their quality of life and involvement in the world.” WOAL is a charitable affiliate of AARP, an AgeWise Colorado Provider. WOAL was founded in 2008 by Jeremy Bloom, a former member of the U.S. Ski Team. After he had witnessed acts of kindness toward elders across Europe and Asia, he created WOAL to bring that same culture of respect to the United States. Fifteen years later, WOAL is celebrating reaching the milestone of 2,500 wishes granted. See examples of some of those wishes and learn more at https://wishofalifetime.org/.