Across the globe, our colleagues have always been generous, kind, and committed to building a better world. Every Perficient colleague is passionate about making a difference, whether it’s competing in a charity marathon, collecting holiday gifts for children in need, celebrating Giving Tuesday, or any other good cause.
One way our U.S. colleagues can give back is through our Perficient Gives Charitable Match Program, which affords colleagues the opportunities to make company-matched donations to meaningful causes like the Make-A-Wish® Foundation (Make-A-Wish), a nonprofit organization that helps fulfill the wishes of children who are fighting cancer and other critical illnesses.
READ MORE: Perficient Donates $80,000 to Advance STEM Education and Improve Health and Wellbeing
As a result of our long-standing partnership with Make-A-Wish, we recently had the opportunity to surprise a very special child with a once-in-a-lifetime vacation to Walt Disney World. Watch the video for a full recap of Elliott’s party, and read more below for more about a day Elliott won’t forget.
All About Elliott
Meet Elliott, a six-year-old who loves the St. Louis Blues, noodles, Cheez-Its, and all things Disney. Elliott has a congenital heart disease. “We never restricted Elliott growing up. We always just wanted him to be a little boy, and not make his life about his condition,” said Elliott’s mom, Sonya. “Our family hasn’t taken a vacation because we never knew what Elliott could handle.”
Elliott’s Day at Perficient with Special Guest, Louie from the St. Louis Blues
With the help of Make-A-Wish, Elliott and his family joined dozens of Perficient colleagues at our St. Louis headquarters for Elliott’s Day, a special party completely focused on celebrating him. We kicked the party off by learning a little more about Elliott, like his love for hockey and how supportive his big sister Abigail has been during his treatment.
We then surprised both Elliott and Abigail with a fresh supply of Cheez-Its snacks and were even joined by Louie from the St. Louis Blues who gifted them with care packages, complete with Blues swag, apparel, and memorabilia. Everyone enjoyed a catered lunch from Noodles & Company, and no party would be complete without chocolate cake – Elliott’s favorite.
The Big Reveal – A Trip to Walt Disney World
While we got to know Elliott, we also heard how much he loves Disney and how he’s always dreamed of visiting Disney World, “the happiest place on Earth.” This was Elliott’s wish with Make-A-Wish, and Perficient and our colleagues were proud to surprise Elliott with the news that we were making his dream come true.
“Disney World is somewhere Elliott has always wanted to visit. These will be memories that our family was not sure we were ever going to get,” said Sonya. “For Elliott and our family to feel something special means so much.”
“Going to Disney is the icing. The cake is everything that happened here today,” said Elliott’s grandparents, Mary and Shailesh. “All the people involved. The kindness and generosity means more than just going to Disney World.”
The surprise trip was well received by Elliott as well, who said this was the “best day of my life.”
Elliott, his sister, and his parents will soon depart for their much-needed vacation, and we wish them a carefree week filled with joy and memories that will last a lifetime.
READ MORE: Learn more about how Perficient and our colleagues give back to our communities
More About Make-A-Wish
In the weeks prior to Elliott’s Day, Perficient’s Giving Employee Resource Group (ERG) hosted a “get to know” session with representatives from Make-A-Wish for colleagues to learn more about the organization and how they can get involved.
According to Make-A-Wish, a child is diagnosed with a critical illness every 20 minutes. Make-A-Wish is dedicated to making a difference in their lives by creating life-changing wishes that bring hope and a quality of life back to children and their families. For wish kids, the act of making their wish come true can give them the hope, courage, and strength to fight harder against their illnesses. Granting a child’s wish can also mark a turning point in their treatment.
A wish can take on many different forms. From taking a once-in-a-lifetime vacation or receiving a long-sought gift, to meeting a favorite celebrity or making a difference for someone else, the goal of each gift is to provide a transformative experience for every child. Since the inception of Make-A-Wish in 1980, more than 520,000 wishes have been granted in 50 countries. On average, more than 20,000 wishes are granted each year with approximately 25 wishes granted in the U.S. each day.
Wishes are granted through the support of in-kind donations, community supporters, individual volunteers, and corporate partners. Perficient has been a Make-A-Wish partner for more than 17 years, and in that time, we’ve donated more than $106,000 to the organization.
There are several ways to get involved with Make-A-Wish, including making donations, volunteering to help a local family, fundraising to grant wishes in their local communities, and more. Interested in getting involved with Make-A-Wish? Visit the Get Involved page on their website to learn more and help them transform lives one wish at a time.
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