Batkid's Make-A-Wish Spikes Donations, Interest in Foundation
Five-year-old Miles' wish to be Batman for a day became a viral sensation.
Nov. 18, 2013 — -- San Francisco Batkid's little cape has created a huge wave of good feelings and donations for the Make-a-Wish foundation, the group that organized his day of heroism.
"I think when individuals learn about what Make-a-Wish does and the impact it has on a child, they can't help but want to become involved in some way," the organization's national communications manager Josh deBerge told ABCNews.com today.
"First and foremost and above all is that the wish went so well," he said. "From the execution to the interest, it was just wonderful and I think Miles had, by all accounts, a great time."
The Make-a-Wish Foundation created an entire day catered to Miles Scott's dream, and an estimated 13,000 people turned out to cheer him on along the way. President Obama even issued his first ever Vine on Twitter congratulating Miles.
Batkid's day began with the San Francisco Chronicle's entire front page dedicated to him, his own Batmobile and a city-wide adventure that included rescuing a damsel in distress, foiling the Riddler's bank robbery and saving San Francisco Giants mascot Lou Seal from the Penguin.
The Internet was overtaken with Batkid fever throughout the day. The hashtag #SFBatkid was quickly trending on Twitter and everyone from politicians to actors to athletes were tweeting about Batkid.
Make-a-Wish knew it was going to be a big day, but its sheer magnitude surprised even the foundation that grants 14,000 wishes a year.
"We knew there was something special about this wish," deBerge said. "Whether it was the little picture of Miles in his bat costume or just the fact that it was going to be so easy for San Franciscans to become involved in it, I don't know exactly what it was, but we knew there was going to be big interest."
A few days before Miles' wish was scheduled to come true, Make-a-Wish started receiving inquiries from places including the Netherlands, Norway, Israel and China.
"That's when we started realizing, this is going to be a huge wish," he said. "On Friday, it beat all of our expectations as far as how many people it touched."
On Friday, the foundation saw a "tremendous increase in web traffic and inquiries across the board," de Berge said.
From Friday throughout the weekend, they saw a spike in donations made online. The organization's 61 chapters across the country have been getting inquiries from people who want to get involved.
"We hope that interest continues and we hope that what happened Friday resonated with the nation," deBerge said. "It really makes a difference in a child's life, whether they're getting over their illness, in the midst of treatment or at the beginning of their journey."
About 27,000 children are diagnosed with a life-threatening medical condition each year and the organization hopes to someday be able to reach all of them.
"We grant 14,000 wishes every year so we're granting wishes every single day across the United States. So it is important to us that as amazing as Miles' wish experience was, we want people to know that there are other children out there that are getting their wish or waiting to get their wish and it's a special experience for them as well," deBerge said.
"We're just thrilled that the story of Make-a-Wish and the impact that the wish has not only on the child but on entire communities, we're just happy that the story is being told around the country and around the world," he said. "Our vision is to someday grant the wish of every eligible child."
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