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Jonathan's wish helps change many lives selflessly

  • One of many fields that benefit from the new irrigation system

  • Jonathan wishes for an irrigation system

  • Presenting the wish

  • Irrigation System

  • Irrigation system works flawlessly

“ Changing lives selflessly ”

  • Jonathan , 17

    • Brain Tumor
    • Irrigation system for boy's orphanage
  • Wish to give

Jonathan wishes for an irrigation system


When Jonathan and his family were part of a mission trip to Zimbabwe, he wissed
more than 100 young boys living in an orphanage outside of the city. The orphanage raised crops
to provide food, but the boys always had to carry water to the fields in buckets (often long distances).
Jonathan, who was diagnosed with a brain tumor at the beginning of his Junior year in high school,
was referred to Make-A-Wish® by his doctor. With a combined love of world history and books, thoughts of
visiting Greece or maybe seeing the “lifetime locations” of one of his heroes like C.S. Lewis crossed his mind.

In his heart Jonathan decided that only one wish was really important to him: helping the orphan boys.
Selflessly, he told his volunteers that his one wish was for Make-A-Wish to install an irrigation system at the boys orphanage so the orphans could grow their own food (his wish was completed just in time for growing season)! Jonathan sadly lost his battle with cancer, but left a lasting wish for the little boys he loved so much
and taught all of us the true power of a wish.

My husband Steve and I would like to thank you for the opportunity to share with you what the fulfillment of one wish has done. In the midst of dealing with chemotherapy and the weight of a potentially terminal diagnosis, Make-A-Wish brought some joy and encouragement into our lives by offering Jonathan the opportunity to have a wish fulfilled. Through Make-A-Wish, our son Jonathan chose to provide a much needed irrigation system for the Mbuya Nehanda Children’s Home in Zimbabwe, Africa. Our family had visited this orphanage on a mission trip in 2005, where Jonathan saw first-hand the needs of the 100 children there. Because water was in short supply, it was difficult for the orphanage to grow their crops and feed the children. At times, the children experienced hunger on a daily basis. An irrigation system was desperately needed. Although completing an international project can be logistically very difficult, the staff of Make a Wish dove wholeheartedly into the task. Our son Jonathan did not live to see the completion of the irrigation system, but Make-A-Wish remained committed to the effort even after his death. Because of this, the children’s home now has a 20 acre irrigation system in place to grow crops and feed the orphans and workers. This project not only met an immediate need for these children, but has spawned an ongoing ministry to meet the needs of the Zimbabwean orphans, called Jonathan’s Impact. Since the fulfillment of Jonathan’s wish, 800 cubic feet of clothing, scholarships, books, school supplies, transportation repairs, a medical clinic, and Christmas boxes have been provided for the children. More projects are underway to meet their needs. This good deed by Make-A-Wish has planted the seeds for many more good deeds to be done. Make-A-Wish has given our family a bright light in what would otherwise be a very dark situation. They do this for many other families. My husband and I cannot adequately express what this organization means to us. ”

— Cassy D., Jonathan's mom

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