Founder and executive director of a Trenton-based nonprofit, Danielle Gletow, was named a CNN Hero.
Much like a fairy godmother, she uses her organization One Simple Wish to grant wishes of children in foster care.
The organization acts as matchmaker allowing social service agencies and other non-profit organizations providing services to foster children to reach out to the public and ask that a specific need be met. Wishes are posted on their website, onesimplewish.org, for donors to browse and choose from.
Wishes average between $50 and $100.
Gletow told CNN she was inspired to start the organization after becoming a foster parent in 2006.
“I quickly recognized that children in foster care needed a greater sense of normalcy and comfort, so I developed a website where social service providers can post the simple wishes of the children they work with every day. Donors from all over the country can then find a wish that speaks to their heart and budget and make it a reality,” Gletow said.
One Simple Wish is currently partnered with more than 300 social service agencies in 35 states. Its mission is that each of the about 500,00 children in foaster care are provided for.
Since its creation in December 2008, the organization has granted approximately 4,000 wishes.
In addition to that, Gletow works with Wish to Work, which aids individuals aging out of foster care, and the Ohana Project, which aims to satisfy immediate needs of children entering placement.
The organization estimates that it has impacted approximately 20,000 since inception.
While Gletow is honored to be recognized for her dedication to the foster care community, she told CNN it is the donors who deserve praise.
“It is our donor base who are truly the heroes. These are the people who take time from their busy lives to browse our site, read the children’s wishes and make them come true again and again. The impact of these simple wishes granted is immeasurable to a child who otherwise has little support,” Gletow said.
CNN Heroes recognizes everyday people who are making a difference. Heroes are nominated through their website, then picked through a selection process.
At the end of the year, CNN hosts CNN Heroes: An All Star Tribute, where they recognize their Top 10 Heroes of the year. These honorees receive $50,000 grants for their organizations.
More information is online at cnnheroes.com.