Ryan always knew what Make-A-Wish was about thanks to his family friends and longtime Make-A-Wish supporters, News 3 anchors Kim and Dana Wagner. But it wasn’t until he realized that a wish kid could be his childhood best friend, or even his own brother or sister, that he knew he had to get involved.
Ryan came up with an amazing idea: design and sell t-shirts created by our very own wish kids! Three local wish kids drew up unique images and Ryan had the designs printed onto t-shirts. He created a custom website, MakeAWishTees.org, and sold the tees online for $25, with 100% of the proceeds benefitting Make-A-Wish. He also featured the picture and story of each wish kid along with their design.
In only six short months Ryan’s campaign raised $10,335 toward making wishes like Lucas’- who dreamed of experiencing Alaska in the winter-come true. Ryan conducted a check presentation at The Wishing Place, where he also got to meet the artists and kids who designed the shirts. They each received their very own tee as a thank you for being part of his successful fundraiser, but they also walked away with something even more valuable: a way to wish it forward. Little did Ryan know his seemingly simple idea would make such an impact.
Ryan’s idea was so successful that he decided to do it again! Three more amazing wish kids created the t-shirt art, and he also partnered with additional artists to draw images inspired by Lucas’ Alaskan adventure. This time, Ryan wants to surpass his previous $10,335 mark so he can help make even more wishes come true.
"When I first came up with this fundraiser, I had no idea it would take off as it has,” says Ryan. “My favorite part of the project is that the wish kids making the art are actually helping other sick kids get their wishes granted. It's kind of like one big family of kids, helping each other."
It is rare to find a spirit as determined and generous as Ryan’s, and we are so grateful that he shares his passion with Make-A-Wish. If you’d like to help Ryan reach his goals, or just check out the inspiring stories, visit MakeAWishTees.org