One Simple Wish

CNN Hero Danielle Gletow draws pictures with Gigi, 5, left, at her foster home in Cape Coral, Florida. Gletow started the nonprofit, One Simple Wish, to help grant the wishes of children in foster care. She was at the Furdell home to present a gift to Gigi and her brother.

Going to the movies, riding your bike around the block, playing with dolls or toys. All of these things most kids see as normal childhood actions. But for some kids, these are their wildest dreams. Thanks to one woman’s kind heart and dedication, these can become a reality for hundreds of thousands of kids.

Danielle Gletow shares her story of how she became a mom to over 400,000 kids. After battling through extremely difficult teenage and young adult years, Danielle found herself at age 27 feeling empty and wanting to help. Soon after she began volunteering at local group homes before she began her life as a foster mom. Danielle and her husband took in one of the 400,000-600,000 kids in foster care. Some of the children she took in were malnourished, neglected and abused, just like the majority of foster kids. She brought these kids back to health and continued her work as a foster mom. A few years into this, she adopted a newborn baby and then found out she was pregnant. With two infants and a full time job, she sadly had to close her home to more foster children, but she wasn’t going to give up on them. Danielle started a website, One Simple Wish.

Her idea sparked into a nation wide project that has helped up 40,000+ kids to date. Her goal was to grant one small wish to a child in foster care. The wishes were as varied as the children, maybe a child wanted a backpack, music lessons, a laptop or just a trip to the movies. Small things that many children take for granted were wishes that were suddenly granted, through small donations from kind people all over. Since 2012 One Simple Wish has grown exponentially and made such a difference in foster children’s lives. Danielle wants to show these children that they are not invisible, they matter and that somebody loves them.

“These kids are counting on every single one of us to make their lives better.. Even if it’s little, together we make such a difference. It’s never to little to bother… Share their story, there might be somebody who wants to help… Even if you just have an idea, shoot us an email, who knows what it could turn into.” Danielle has seen face to face how big of a difference wishes make when they are granted. “We all have the power to make a difference in someone’s life, it could save lives.”

OHS students had the opportunity to hear Danielle tell her story during Human Relations Day. To learn how you can help, visit One Simple Wish or contact her through one of the links below.