The Walt Disney Company and Make-A-Wish® have announced the #FriendLikeMe Challenge in celebration of the upcoming release of the highly anticipated new movie Aladdin. Actor/recording artist Will Smith, who stars in the upcoming film as the wish-granting Genie, helped kick off the campaign, which continues through May 24, 2019, when Aladdin opens in U.S. theaters. The global cause marketing campaign begins today—World Wish Day®—and is supported by Disney and Smith, who are both Make-A-Wish wish granters.
In a video released today, Smith encourages fans to join the campaign and help show the world: Where there’s a wish there’s a way. The campaign poses the question, “If you were the Genie in Disney’s Aladdin and had the chance to grant three heartfelt wishes for someone, who would you share them with? Tag a friend on Twitter and/or Instagram. For every public post with #FriendLikeMe from now through May 24, 2019, Disney will donate $5 up to $1 million to Make-A-Wish to help grant life-changing wishes to children battling critical illnesses all over the world. For more information, go to FriendLikeMe.org. See Disney’s Aladdin in theaters May 24.”
“The release of Aladdin presents an authentic opportunity to connect the film’s powerful theme of wish-granting to the wonderful work Make-A-Wish does in support of children dealing with serious illnesses around the world,” said Elissa Margolis, senior vice president, Enterprise Social Responsibility for The Walt Disney Company. “Wishes are all about hope and we’re so glad to be able to continue our work with Make-A-Wish and invite fans to join us in helping grant more wishes that will bring hope into the lives of deserving kids and their families.”
Since 1980, Disney and Make-A-Wish have helped grant life-changing wishes for more than 130,000 children with critical illnesses around the world. Today, one out of every two wishes granted in the U.S. is a Disney wish. When a wish is granted, a child replaces fear with confidence, sadness with joy, and anxiety with hope.
Granting wishes is a part of The Walt Disney Company’s philanthropic and outreach initiative, Disney Team of Heroes, which delivers comfort and inspiration to families with children facing serious illness.
“The #FriendLikeMe Challenge unites two of our longest-tenured and most passionate wish granters in Disney and Will Smith,” said Richard Davis, president and CEO of Make-A-Wish America. “Both Disney and Will have forever transformed the lives of countless wish kids by allowing them to experience the hope and healing of a wish come true.”
Michel Rudolphie, president and CEO of Make-A-Wish International added, “By participating in the challenge, members of the global community can do their part to bring the life-changing impact of a wish to more children. We are grateful to Disney and Will Smith for joining us on this journey to transform the lives of more children, families, volunteers, supporters, medical professionals and entire communities worldwide.”
For additional information, visit FriendLikeMe.org.