Compassion Month Q&A with Make-A-Wish America Corporate Alliances Vice President Kathy Forshey

Make-A-Wish® and Disney continue to celebrate their longstanding relationship, which spans more than three decades. As we settle in to Compassion Month, we recently sat down with Kathy Forshey, vice president of Corporate Alliances, Make-A-Wish America, to get her take on what it’s like to work closely with Disney and how the Company helps further the charity’s significant mission and goals.

“I wish to have lunch with Disney Princesses,” five-year-old Gabbie, who has Leukemia, says about her wish.

What’s it like to work with Disney and help fulfill nearly one out of every two wishes with the Company?
Disney is the world leader in family entertainment. Make-A-Wish is one of the world’s most successful children’s charities. There is a natural connection between our two brands that has worked seamlessly to the benefit of wish kids throughout the world. Disney has been a loyal friend to Make-A-Wish from the very first wish, which sent eight-year-old Bopsy Salazar to Disneyland. Now, three decades later, the relationship with Disney is stronger than ever.

How has Disney helped further the goals and mission of Make-A-Wish over the past 30 years?
From covering admission to Disney Parks and beyond, Disney has been incredibly generous in its support of wish granting through its various properties and incredible talent. Employees provide wish families V.I.P. treatment by allowing them to go behind the scenes of television sets, recording studios and concert venues. Wish kids leave these experiences truly feeling like princes and princesses, ready to courageously face whatever difficulties life throws at them. And that’s not all. Disney entities such as ESPN—through the MyWish series—have played integral roles in telling the Make-A-Wish story on the national stage, generating further support for us. All of these aspects join together to help us get closer to our vision of granting the wish of every eligible child.

How has the collaboration between Disney and Make-A-Wish empowered kids and families who need compassion most?
Make-A-Wish comes into families’ lives during dark, difficult times. The wish experience reconnects wish kids to the innocence and fun that many associate with childhood. According to the results of a recent Wish Impact Study, 96 percent of families stated that the wish experience strengthened their family. Disney has provided Make-A-Wish with capacity-building grants, including a recent $1 million investment to help further our impact on children and families around the world.