Pixie Dust Wishes is a non-profit organization that grants Disney wishes to individuals with special needs/disabilities and their families. The State College, PA- based organization was started in January 2017 by Jaimie Miller. Since then, the organization has awarded 13 WISHES.
Miller's own daughter, Emma, who has Down syndrome, inspired her to start Pixie Dust Wishes. Miller has always been an advocate for individuals with special needs and wanted to do something to give back to the community. Through fundraisers and gathering each holiday season, the volunteers and families have formed their own Pixie Dust Wishes family.
"Many times, when you are raising a child with a disability, there is a sense of isolation and loneliness that accompanies it," said Miller. "Being a part of the disability community, I do understand, and I wanted to reach out to help eliminate some of the isolation that comes with this journey."
Miller chose Disney World as the focal point of her organization because of Emma's love for Disney World and Disney's deep understanding of the disability community. They offer modifications such as the disability access pass and special seating for parades and do their best to "roll out the red carpet" for children and individuals with disabilities, according to Miller. And above all else, they treat the children with love and respect.
Pixie Dust Wishes relies on donations to fund wishes. The non-profit has two annual large-scale fundraisers. " Festival of Wishes in memory of Dylan Singer" takes place in Philadelphia each April and "Race to Neverland 5K, fun walk and family festival" is held in State College each August. These events raise money through corporate sponsorships, silent auctions, raffles, and personal donations.
"I have shed many tears of happiness with these families. Many of them have experienced that sense of isolation before Pixie Dust Wishes. By helping their child receive such a gift, as well as introducing them to other families who share similar journeys has been a blessing. Not only are we able to give the gift of Disney to the family, but we are also able to give the gift of friendship," said Miller.
In the future, Miller hopes to expand Pixie Dust Wishes and spread the word throughout Pennsylvania and each year, grant more wishes than the year before. She will continue to be an advocate in the community for individuals with disabilities to create a more accepting and inclusive world.