UEFA has awarded its annual CHF1m - or €650,000 - charity cheque to the worldwide Make-A-Wish Foundation ® International, which works on behalf of children with life-threatening illnesses. The award was presented to the foundation at the European Football Awards gala evening in Monaco on Thursday.
Helping sick children
The purpose of the Make-A-Wish Foundation International is “to increase the opportunity for children with a life-threatening illness to realise their wish”. The foundation started 20 years ago in the United States and has now 27 international affiliates, including seven in Europe.
About 10,000 wishes are fulfilled every year throughout the world. The average cost of realising a wish is €4,600. Make-A-Wish Foundation International has six employees and can count on the support of about 3,000 volunteers.
Joy of football
The objective of Make-A-Wish Foundation International is "to spread the inspiration of wish-granting throughout the world" and in particular to increase the number of wishes coming true for children around the world who are living with life-threatening illnesses. The concept of enriching the lives of children with life-threatening illnesses through wish-granting means that UEFA and Make-A-Wish Foundation International will team up to bring the joy of football to children who qualify for the granting of wishes.
Since 1998, UEFA has used the Monaco gala events – which include the European Football Awards and the UEFA Super Cup match, and herald a new club competition season – to announce the donation of €650,000 to a charitable cause.
The previous donations have been made to the following organisations: Special Olympics Europe Eurasia (SOEE): football-related projects for the mentally handicapped (1998); International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC): in favour of victims of war (1999 and 2000); Football Against Racism in Europe (FARE): campaign against racism in football (2001); and Danish Cross Cultures Projects Association (CCPA): grassroots Open Fun Football Schools Project in the Balkan and Caucasus regions (2002).
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