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How to Submit a Wish

Anyone can submit a wish

With each wish granted, older adults across the country reconnect with the communities, passions, and people they love, helping them to live more vibrant and purposeful lives. And with each wish experience shared, we inspire people of all ages to live their best life.

Please review the FAQ below before submitting a wish.

Frequently Asked Questions

General info

What is a Wish of a Lifetime?
A Wish of a Lifetime is life-enriching and is born out of a compelling story. A Wish of a Lifetime holds value beyond a passing desire or casual thought – it is a dream, a lifelong goal, or a meaningful component to one’s life that has been missing.
What types of wishes will not be granted?
  • Financial Assistance (cash payment of bills, rent, taxes, etc.)
  • Housing Assistance (home repair/modification, assistance moving, locating housing, etc.) • Home Furnishings
  • Technology (computers, phones, cell phones, TV’s)
  • Medical care or services
  • Legal Services
  • Vehicle (purchase, repair, modification)
  • Potentially harmful or dangerous wishes
  • Wishes on behalf of others under 65
  • Assistance finding employment
  • Wishes that extend beyond the life of the Wish Recipient (funeral arrangements, headstones, etc.)
  • Publishing Wishes (editing, distribution, or creation of printed materials)
  • Continuous Wishes (Wishes for a pet, season tickets, etc.)

A note about travel: We do not send older adults on vacation. Travel must be purpose-driven, with a dream achieved during or as a result of the trip.

How do I nominate a older adult?

We encourage you to nominate a deserving individual for a wish. If the wish you submitted is approved, you will play an important role in helping Wish of a Lifetime successfully plan and execute the wish. Nominators’ responsibilities may include acting as a primary point of contact for Wish of a Lifetime, helping to coordinate wish logistics and get release forms signed, and participating in the wish experience.

But it all begins with filling out an application!

What is the application process like?
  • Nominator or Applicant fills out and submits our Wish Application
  • Wish of a Lifetime will evaluate the wish to ensure it meets our criteria, and will contact you if the applicant or Wish does not meet the criteria or if it is not feasible
  • If the wish meets our criteria, a Wish of a Lifetime representative will call and interview the Nominator, then the Applicant to learn more about the Wish
  • Wish of a Lifetime’s Wish Committee will make a final determination as to whether the wish will be granted
  • If declined, Nominator and/or Applicant will be notified
  • If approved, a Wish of a Lifetime representative will contact Nominator and Applicant to start the planning and fulfillment process

Please note: With very few exceptions, we do not grant “surprise” wishes, where the older adult is unaware that the wish will be happening. 

What are the minimum qualifications?
  • Minimum age of 65
  • Reside in the United States and its territories
  • Unable to fulfill the wish on your own
  • Capable of experiencing the wish
  • Able to obtain approval from a doctor, if necessary

Wish logistics

Who pays for the wish?

Wish of a Lifetime covers all reasonable costs associated with fulfillment of the wish. We do not provide first class accommodations unless such arrangements are required for health purposes. If your wish is approved, a Letter of Intent will be shared with you that outlines what Wish of a Lifetime expects to cover for the wish.

Who can come with me on my Wish?

This depends on the type of wish you have. If your Wish involves overnight travel, WOL will cover expenses for the Wish Recipient and one companion. Other family members may travel with the Wish Recipient, but they are responsible for covering all of their own expenses. If your Wish is a single day outing, WOL will look into making reasonable arrangements for multiple family members or friends to accompany a Wish Recipient. Requests for multiple companions are dealt with on a case-by-case basis.

What if I need a caregiver?
We understand that some Wish Recipients may need a caregiver on a Wish outing or overnight trip. In these circumstances, WOL will work with the recipient and their family to determine the proper party to provide care. This may be a family member, an in-home caregiver or nurse that the Recipient is acquainted with, or an outside caregiver for hire. WOL will work with the Recipient to provide the best possible solution for all parties involved.
How are travel expenses handled?
  • Reimbursement: Wish Recipient and/or Participants will be reimbursed for meals according to our Per Diem allotment. Recipient and/or Participants must keep and submit itemized receipts in order to be reimbursed.
  • Covered: Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner while traveling. Pre-approved travel needs, i.e. taxi rides, bus fare, car rental, gas, etc.
  • Not Covered: Alcohol, souvenirs, other incidentals
How has wish granting changed during covid?
During the coronavirus crisis, Wish of a Lifetime modified its wish-granting program to focus on virtual wishes and wishes that can happen safely within recipients homes and communities.

Wish application

Unfortunately, Wish of a Lifetime is unable to grant every qualified wish we receive. The decision to grant a wish is at the sole discretion of Wish of a Lifetime, and a wish may be denied for any reason.