The largest Make-A-Wish chapter in the country is hoping a Cincinnati-based TikTok star will bring in $1 million with a first-time fundraiser on Thursday.
TikTok star and creator Heather (@savagemomlife) will host TikTok LIVE, Create Joy with Make-A-Wish, on Thursday starting at 8 p.m. on the @savagemomlife and @makeawishamerica TikTok accounts.
Create Joy with Make-A-Wish will be streamed on TikTok LIVE from the Cincinnati iHeartMedia studios and feature special guest celebrities, creators and wish kids. All the money raised will help Make-A-Wish grant more life-changing wishes for children with critical illnesses.
Heather is a Cincinnati native, known around the world for her joyful, funny, and entertaining videos. She has more than 5 million followers and 213 million likes on TikTok, and can be heard every Monday from 2-7 p.m. on KISS 107.1 with JonJon for #SavageMomMondays.
The first episode of her new iHeartMedia podcast, Simply Savage, will be released Nov. 23
Heather reached out to Make-A-Wish a few months ago, wanting to be a wish grantor. She then had the idea of her doing a fundraiser for the local chapter, which morphed into a national/global event.
“Heather has a lofty goal to raise $1 million … and we know she doesn’t give up easily,” said Katie Ferrell, marketing and communications director for Ohio’s Make-A-Wish chapter. “This is entirely new territory for us. We’ve never done a TikTok LIVE fundraiser before and are excited about the possibilities. No matter how much we raise, we see this as an incredible opportunity to share our mission with a new audience.”
The first TikTok fundraiser Heather remembers seeing was with the American Heart Association, and she thinks that one raised over $200,000.
Make-A-Wish® Ohio, Kentucky & Indiana is the largest chapter of Make-A-Wish in the country. It has granted nearly 20,000 wishes for children with critical illnesses since its founding in 1983. About 80% of “wish kids” beat their illness and live typical healthy lives. Once in adulthood, many wish kids tell Make-A-Wish that their wish marked a turning point in their road to treatment and recovery.
“Many people don’t realize that we are in the Cincinnati community granting wishes for local children and have been for nearly 40 years,” said Ferrell. “We have an office at 4500 Cooper Road in Cincinnati, and have granted 2,000+ wishes for Cincy area children (including 155 wishes so far just this year). Right now, nearly 250 children in Cincinnati are waiting for their wishes to come true.”
Besides having the largest chapter in the country, Cincinnati has another strong connection to Make-A-Wish. Many Cincinnatians were surprised when Cincinnati banking executive Richard Davis, U.S. Bank’s CEO from 2006 until his retirement, took on the role as CEO of Make-A-Wish in January 2019. He retired from the nonprofit earlier this month. During his term as president and CEO, he re-positioned Make-A-Wish through business transformation strategies and brand-building efforts to drive revenue and grant more wishes. He also led the organization through the many challenges posed by the pandemic.