In 1980 Frank Shankwitz and his wife Kitty started a non-profit organization. The non-profit was dedicated to granting terminally ill children their greatest wish. The granted wishes made the most of what little time the children had left to live. They named the non-profit Make-A-Wish Foundation. Make-A-Wish-Foundation has grown to 64 chapters in the United States. Also, the non-profit has 36 International chapters. Make-A-Wish-Foundation covers 5 continents!
Over 300,000 wishes granted worldwide. Make-A-Wish-Foundation grants a wish on average every 38 minutes!
But what about Frank? What is his wish? What is his story? What drove him to create such an empowering and inspiring organization?
Frank is living out his wish. He sits on the Board of several non-profits. He travels around the world with his wife, Kitty. He gives inspirational keynote presentations worldwide. They visit family or meet with wish-kids who survived.
Frank has enjoyed the making of a movie based on the origin of the Make-A-Wish-Foundation. He was thrilled to watch the full-length motion picture. The movie is entitled, “The Wishman – Everyone Can One Be a Hero.” You can stream the movie from Netflix, Prime, and other platforms.
“Watched with my wife and not ashamed to admit to crying with her. A wonderful human and uplifting movie – the end was surprisingly uplifting and unexpected while completely fitting. The amazing ensemble cast deserves a raft of nominations.”“This story warmed my heart. Just one act of kindness can make a huge difference in people’s life, give it forward people.”“One of those movies you cry on. It’s like lump is stuck on your throat. Very emotional, very sad movie with a beautiful end. A very special movie, you will not forget for a long time.”
Frank serves as a mentor to other non-profits he loves to bring attention to:
- U.S. VETS – The nation’s largest nonprofit veteran services organization. The organization provides housing, counseling, and employment services. These services help veterans successfully transition to civilian life.
- Broadway Hearts – Is a group of professional performers from Broadway and theatrical shows. The performers share a common wish. They work to bring a touch of brightness, entertainment, and joy to the kids in Children’s Hospitals.
- Level Up Seattle – Provides housing and business opportunities for the homeless. Their target group is at-risk and foster youth 18-21 years old.
- The Wounded Blue – A foundation for injured and disabled law enforcement officers. It is a “One stop shop for injured/ disabled cops.”
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Frank Shankwitz was an American philanthropist who was a co-founder of the Make-A-Wish Foundation. He has received the President’s Call to Service Award, the Making a Difference in the World, the Making a World of Difference and the Ellis Island Medal of Honor awards. In 2019, a documentary film was made, The Wish Man, telling the story of Shankwitz, his life and his foundation.