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Make-A-Wish Contribution

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Non-profit organizations such as Make-A-Wish specialize in giving once-in-a-lifetime experiences to children with deadly illnesses. Though vacations and expensive items are the most common wishes, a lot of children wish to meet celebrities. This can result in one-on-one meetings or even the celebrity taking them to visit the set of whatever they're working on.

However, the Make-A-Wish Contribution takes this even further. Sometimes, a child's wish request will result in them causing something in the work to exist. This can be a cameo, a background detail inspired by them, or suggesting an idea that ends up in the work.

Sometimes is a case of Throw It In! or a Promoted Fanboy. This can be an Actor-Inspired Element if the person is acting in the work, or a Memorial Character if the child passes away. A sub-trope of Reality Subtext. Compare Contest Winner Cameo and Official Fan-Submitted Content.

Note that this is exclusively an American trope, as the Make-A-Wish Foundation only operates in the U.S., through there's similar organizations in other countries.


Examples:

    open/close all folders 

    Fan Works 
  • pokeyinmypocket is a Make-A-Wish Foundation kid whose wish was to meet DisneyFanatic2364, known for her series Bride of Discord, and help her with her videos. She wound up contributing art to and voicing Twilight's daughter Twinkle and Rarity's youngest daughter Jewel in Episode 8 of Daughter Of Discord.

    Films — Animation 

    Films — Live-Action 
  • In Cop Out, a Make-A-Wish kid plays the student driver who runs over Bruce Willis' character under the El-Train.
  • The line in Thor: Ragnarok where Thor says Hulk is a "friend from work" was a recommendation from a "Make-A-Wish" kid that visited the production. Everyone thought it was brilliant.

    Live-Action TV 
  • An episode of Cake Boss had Buddy take in four girls from the Make-A-Wish Foundation whose dreams were to be bakers, and he made one-of-a-kind cakes with them before making a hot air balloon cake for a reception that Make-A-Wish was holding.
  • The Doctor Who episode "A Fix with Sontarans" was a Crossover with Jimmy Savile's Jim'll Fix It, a show where wishes of children were fulfilled, after Gareth Jenkins asked to "go inside the TARDIS."
  • An indirect example comes from Saturday Night Live, as the opening monologue of one of John Mulaney's episodes partially centers around his experience spending the day with Make-A-Wish kid Elizabeth, including touring around the SNL set.
  • Within the cast of Power Rangers Beast Morphers, there exists a non-canonical Beast Morphers Orange Ranger: Tyler Rinker, an 8-year old boy from New Jersey whose greatest wish is to be an Orange Power Ranger so he can make the world a safer place for everyone. Tyler's wish came true at the 2019 Make-A-Wish New Jersey Gala, complete with a costume for him and a Comic-Con exclusive comic variant cover.

    Podcasts 
  • Cox n' Crendor: The special episode "Talia & Jesse: A Pizza Advice" was made after Talia asked to be in an episode of Cox n' Crendor Animated through the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Jesse spent two days in Seattle hanging out with her, and one of their conversations was animated for the video. She passed away before the video could be completed, but it was released on her 16th birthday and dedicated to her.

    Puppet Shows 
  • Barney & Friends: A girl named Elizabeth got to visit the set of the show as her wish.
  • A young fan of the Muppets with bone cancer, Kristina Donnelly, got to work as a puppeteer for Muppets from Space as her wish. She operated Baab the Sheep.
  • There have been several kids who wished to be on Sesame Street. For unknown reasons, they do not appear on the show itself, but rather get videos filmed where they interact with the Muppets on the set.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition: The Oblex was designed by Nolan Whale, a Make-A-Wish recipient who spent a day with the Wizards of the Coast team helping to create it. It's been called one of the scariest monsters in the entire game, as a creature who imitates its victims and absorbs its memories while killing them, to better impersonate them.
  • The Yu-Gi-Oh! card "Tyler The Great Warrior" was created by Tyler Gressle, a then 14 year old with a rare form of liver cancer, who wished to have his own card in the game.

    Video Games 
  • Awesomenauts: The Lonestar skin Private Mels was designed by and named after a kid who visited Ronimo to learn about game creation through Make-A-Wish. All of the revenue for Private Mels is donated to the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
  • In-Universe in BitLife: if you're famous, an event may pop up asking what you should give to a sick Make-A-Wish kid. You could take them to ice cream, give them an autograph, call them, or just ignore them.
  • The Chirurgeon Mini-Boss in Darkest Dungeon II was designed with a Make-A-Wish recipient named Sam, a big fan of the series.
  • From League of Legends:
    • In 2012, a young fan named Joe visited Riot Games through Make-A-Wish Foundation, with a brief spotlight being put on Jax's "Jaximus" skin — Joe's favorite skin — which was briefly sold with proceeds going to Make-A-Wish. When Joe passed away shortly afterwards, "Jaximus" received an additional skin-exclusive voiceline: "Here's to you, kid!"
    • Dark Star Cho'Gath was made in collaboration with a fan named Bryan, who visited Riot Games in 2017 and not only had a hand in the skin's design, but also a login theme. Riot originally wished it to be a one-of-a-kind personal memento just for Bryan, but they briefly put it for public release in 2018, with all proceeds (an estimated total $6.1 million) being donated to nonprofit charities. Following the drive, the skin was then shifted to being an uber-exclusive Gemstone skin, now currently in a rotation as a Mythic Essence skin.
  • In Skylanders: Giants, The Gecko Chorus in Tree Rex's Heroic Challenge were voiced by a girl from the Make-a-Wish Foundation who wanted to learn about game creation. Octavius from The Oracle was also co-designed by her.
  • The NPC boss Towe in Star Wars: The Old Republic is named after a Make-A-Wish recipient who visited the BioWare offices.
  • Blizzard Entertainment partnered with Make-A-Wish to give 10-year old Ezra Chatterton, who was a massive World of Warcraft fan, an opportunity to help design some content for the game. This included the character of Ahab Wheathoof, who Ezra voices. Talking to Ahab will send the player on a Fetch Quest to rescue his lost dog, who is based on Ezra's pet dog.

    Webcomics 

    Web Original 

    Web Videos 
  • BuzzFeed Worth It: A fan of the show named Jackson got to be a special co-star for the Double Cheeseburger episode.
  • Linus Tech Tips: In "I Will GRANT One Wish - ULTIMATE Make A Wish PC", Grant has Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia, and the Make-A-Wish foundation tried to arrange for Grant to meet Linus in person. That wasn't possible because Linus lives in Canada and Grant in the USA, and the border was closed due to the COVID-19 Pandemic. Instead, Linus builds a high-spec gaming computer for Grant.
  • The copy of Mario Party DS used in The Runaway Guys Let's Play of the game was given to the guys by a kid named Andrew whom they met thanks to the Make-a-Wish Foundation. To top it all off, the copy has almost everything unlocked.
  • The Scott The Woz episode "Toys to Life" was a request from Make-A-Wish kid Zak.note  Zak also cameos in the episode as Dex Mohs, a crime boss with a Vague Age who runs the scam that is the throughline of the episode.

    Western Animation 
  • The Adventure Time episode "Root Beer Guy" had a minor background character voiced by a Make A Wish beneficiary.
  • A girl named Leandra, who had a bone marrow illness and was a Make-A-Wish patient, was a fan of As Told by Ginger and watched it during her treatments. Her wish was to be a character on the show, so she appeared and voiced a character named after herself in a scene of the episode "Butterflies are Free", in which Ginger, Macie and Dodie greet her by name.
  • Alex, an avid fan of Big City Greens, had a wish to appear on the show itself and came up with her own series design. Said design appeared in the episode "The Delivernator" as the girl riding the kiddie ride whom Cricket vaults over.
  • A patient named Jacob wished to be in an episode of Codename: Kids Next Door. Jacob appeared as a scientist codenamed Numbah 275, albeit only a few times and with no spoken lines, in the second half of "Operation: F.E.R.A.L.". As a tribute, entering his name in the now-defunct KND online database made one receive the simple message of "awesome".
  • A fan of Disney Channel diagnosed with cancer named Amy Volkert used her wish to voice a character in the Dave the Barbarian episode "Night Of The Living Plush". Unfortunately, she passed away from the disease on September 12, 2004, three months before the episode aired on December 29.
  • In the Family Guy episode "Boys Do Cry", one of the focal points of the story is a Beauty Contest for little girls that Stewie enters while Disguised in Drag. One of the contestants is voiced by Camilla Stull, a 12-year-old girl with leukemia whose dream was to become a voice actress. She has since died, but her voicework in the episode has, in essence, immortalized her.
  • Micah Amundsen and Nicolas Isler voice animated versions of themselves in the Gravity Falls episode "Soos and the Real Girl", made possible through the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
  • Kim Possible had Josh and Katlyn in Season 4, who were animated into an episode as a wish from the Make A Wish foundation. Josh appeared in the episode "Grande Size Me", and Katelin appeared in "Clean Slate." Katlyn's scene has her telling Kim that she's her biggest fan, and asks for her autograph.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic:
    • In "Trade Ya!", the disabled pony with a wheelchair on his hind legs, Stellar Eclipse, is played by Sylvain-Nicholas LeVasseur-Portelance, who has spinal muscular atrophy.
    • In "Top Bolt", Angel Wings is voiced by Alexis "Lexi" Heule, who has congenital heart disease and connective tissue disorder. The character Angel Wings is based off an original character Lexi designed.
  • Phineas and Ferb: In "Phineas' Birthday Clip-o-Rama", Make-A-Wish kid Tabitha Comstock voices the girl at the party who says, "You're the best!" after everyone wishes Phineas a happy birthday.
  • In Rocket Power, a boy named Daniel Stark had his wish granted when he competed in a skateboarding contest with the gang in the episode The Big Day.
  • Serf Furman was a South Park fan dying from brain cancer who used his wish to cameo in "The Pandemic Special". He died two months after the special aired.
  • In the SpongeBob SquarePants episode "No Nose Knows", Make-A-Wish kid Dean Kovanda voices the fish who, after Patrick smashes his nose on a plate of jelly doughnuts, says "Well I guess I won't be eating those."
  • The Teen Titans Go! episode "Wally T." is about the Titans meeting their biggest fan. The fan was voiced by William Walter Thompson (but was dubbed over in the final product due to union issues), who used his wish to voice act in a show alongside his idol Tara Strong.
  • In the VeggieTales episode "The League of Incredible Vegetables", a background character is the first to name-drop Junior Asparagus's alter-ego, Ricochet. Thanks to Make-A-Wish, the voice of said character came from a young cancer patient, who sadly died not long after the episode released.
  • A young girl named Esme got to write an episode of WordGirl where Becky met a character based off her. Unfortunately, due to the show's animation studio going bankrupt, the episode never made it past script form.
  • The 2009 Christmas Special Yes, Virginia featured a character voiced by and modeled after someone who was a Make A Wish child.

 
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"Isn't that cute?"

The episode "Night of the Living Plush" features a voice cameo from Amy Volkert, a Make-A-Wish teenager diagnosed with cancer whose wish was to voice a character in a cartoon. Sadly, she died before the episode aired.

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