When you donate something, ideally you wish your donation would go to someone who really needed it. Recently I had the opportunity to donate some diapers and baby clothes and fulfill this wish. I decided again to use the web site of our good friends at Zealous Good. This time, they matched my donation with a couple of places, including the Grant A Wish organization.

Grant A Wish was founded in 1981 by Anne Blair and grants wishes to needy, disabled and abused children. From the organization’s web site, I found out that Ms. Blair was an amazing person who dedicated her life to helping children. To this day, Grant A Wish has granted over 95,000 wishes to children around the city. Currently, Grant A Wish has several programs to help the needy, including food, baby, wish and school programs.

A donation for their baby program helps economically disadvantaged families provide for their infants and toddlers. This can include providing clothing, baby equipment, and a variety of baby supplies at no charge. Mr. Vital Thomas, the president of Grant A Wish, contacted me to schedule a time to pickup or deliver the donation. He was very accommodating and appreciative of the donation and I found some time to drive to their office on the South Side to drop off the items. When I drove up to Grant A Wish, I was met by Mr. Thomas in front of their modest building in a quiet, working class neighborhood. He was kind enough to give me some background on the organization and its mission. He even invited me inside to see some of the donations that would go to needy families from the baby program.

Mr. Thomas soon had to depart to run another errand for his organization and we exchanged information and goodbyes. Even though our meeting was brief, I was struck by the selflessness that he displayed. Here was a person who has dedicated his life to helping others without being in or needing the spotlight. I have deep admiration for Mr. Thomas and Grant A Wish and the work they do. People and organizations like them all across Chicago are the real everyday heroes.


If you would like to help Grant A Wish and make a difference in a child’s life, please support their programs and help in any capacity (volunteers, grant writers, corporate sponsorships and financial donations).