One Simple Wish Foundation Changes Children's Lives

Joanna Gagis talks with Danielle Gletow, Founder of “One Simple Wish,” a non-profit foundation that strives to make the lives of children from difficult backgrounds better, one generous gesture at a time.

1/28/17 #523






"Welcome back to Life and Living. She was selected as one of CNN's for 2013, and when you hear her story, you'll understand why. She is Danielle Gletow, founder and executive director of One Simple Wish. Welcome to the program. Thank you so much for having me. Explain to us, what is One Simple Wish? One Simple Wish is an organization that is dedicated to empowering every single person in this world to give children who are struggling a bit a happy childhood. To show them the love, the joy, and the comfort that they may have not experienced so far in their lives. Who are the people... who are the wishes that you're granting for? Most of them are for children in the foster care system. We focus very heavily on children who've either been removed from their homes and placed in foster homes, or children who are in group home settings, or living in kinship care, and those that have been impacted by foster care but may have aged out. So it ranges in age, from birth to any. We actually don't have a cutoff. How do the wishes come into you? In other words, how do you find the kids? How do you communicate with them and find out what it is that they're looking for? We find them through a network of community partner agencies throughout the country. It started here in New Jersey, so there were just about a dozen that we worked with, social service agencies providing direct service to kids. So they could have been group homes or foster care parent providers. And we've now expanded to 49 states where we have over 750 community partner agencies that submit the wishes on behalf of the children. Can we backtrack just a bit? Sure. And get a better understanding of who you are and why you created this organization? So I created the organization back in 2008. And about three years before that, my husband and I got married, and we started very quickly talking about starting a family. And when we did, we came to the decision that we wanted to adopt. Did you think you wanted to have biological children? At the time? Honestly, no. [laughter] I thought that... I was very busy with my career, and I was very focused. I'm proud of my career in marketing. Doing what? I was in marketing. I worked in an agency, and hours were, you know, long, and I was very busy, and that was sort of my dream then was... I wanted to be very successful. And not that I don't believe you can't have both, but I didn't want either to suffer. And I thought, you know, being pregnant, I don't know that I really want to do that. And so we decided we wanted to adopt..."