By Pam Teel
Every year nearly 500,000 children are impacted by abuse, neglect and trauma and spend time in our Nations Foster Care System. It can be lonely, confusing and even scary. The One simple Wish Organization is all about sending some love to a child who needs it through their innovative wishing platform. When wishes come true, kids not only have a chance to just be kids, they can also make important connections, experience new things, and find their passion.
One Simple Wish’s mission is to restore hope and happiness to those impacted by the neglect, abuse and the trauma. Their website (onesimplewish.org) showcases hundreds of wishes made by individuals who are in, or who have been in, foster care in the United States. Wishes range from $10 to $500 and can be filtered by things like the type of wish, the age of the recipient, the state they live in, and so much more. It is a great way to give a meaningful, direct gift to someone in need.
The organization was founded by Ewing resident, Danielle Gletow, in her New Jersey home in 2008. She and her husband became foster parents in 2005 and witnessed first- hand how difficult it was for children entering and moving through the system. They felt like they wanted to help amplify their voices so that people who wanted to help knew exactly what the kids needed versus what they thought the kids needed. Danielle was working in marketing at the time and decided that a platform that told their stories and helped people see these wonderful kids as more than just statistics would get more people to help. They were foster parents for two years and adopted their oldest daughter, Mia Rae, from foster care in 2009.
Danielle grew up in Jackson, NJ. She met her husband when she was 16 but started dating when she was 19 and after a few starts and stops got married in 2005. That is when they became foster parents and decided that they wanted to adopt a child through the foster care system.
Before that, she had dropped out of college after a year, and grew up battling depression and anxiety but thankfully had a very strong mom who helped her heal. Danielle felt like she wanted to create something that would let these kids know they were not alone and that would allow people to show them how much they were loved and how much they mattered; like what her mom had done for her.
Over the years, Danielle has seen her nonprofit501c3 organization grow. They now work with over 750 social service agencies in nearly every state in the country. They grant about 15,000 wishes per year and have helped close to 100,000 kids to date. They raise about $1.5 million dollars a year now and do it all with a staff of three. Ninety per cent of the donations go to the wish. The other ten percent goes toward wrapping and shipping expenses.
Granting a wish is as simple as clicking a button. We have all experienced the happiness and excitement of seeing our own kids open gifts. Just think of the joy it would bring to a foster child, who fears the uncertainty of his future.
Children ask for all different things, from the latest sneakers, to helping pay for school books, to toys, bikes, art supplies, and so much more. You can even grant a wish in someone’s honor by going to (onesimplewish.org) and pressing the wish that you would like to help to grant. You can choose more than one wish at a time. It’s as simple as that, go onto the website, find a wish you want to grant and click; and with that click of a button you can make a small wish come true and put a smile on a child’s face!
If you want to learn more about volunteering, click on “Help a child” on their website. You can also visit: facebook.com/onesimplewish.
Attention Schools, Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts troops, you can make this a community project and earn badges at the same time by raising money to go towards granting wishes to a foster child in the System!
One Simple Wish holds events around the holidays and in May, for Foster Care Awareness Month. 90% of all the money they raise is raised online. You can also mail in donations to: One Simple Wish, 1977 North Olden Avenue- #292, Trenton, NJ 08618
The Organization is supported by many companies. If you are a company who would love to help out, you can contact Danielle at 609-883-8484 or Danielle@onesim- plewish.org.
There are many ways you can help. Check out their website for other ways to donate, such as their Start a wish fund or Be a Rockstar program, or donate to help the children get proper luggage instead of them having to throw all their belongings in a plastic bag.
Contact: Danielle@onesimplewish.org. Visit the website at: onesimplewish.org or go to: Facebook.com/onesimplewish