ELBURN – The newest chapter of the Twilight Wish Foundation, a charity dedicated to granting wishes of senior citizens, is open for business in Elburn, director Terese Klinger said.
Klinger, a registered therapeutic riding instructor and Elburn resident, said she sought an organization that aids seniors after two high school girls helped her elderly father last year when he fell during his daily walk.
“I wondered if there was anything out there like the Make-A-Wish Foundation, but for seniors,” Klinger said. “I Googled that and found Twilight Wish, and it looked like a good, reliable and worthy cause, and honest. I talked to them and got the ball rolling.”
Twilight Wish was founded 10 years ago in 2003 and has fulfilled the wishes of more than 1,920 seniors over age 68, through volunteers, corporate and community aid and donations.
A tax-deductible charity, the foundation grants wishes for seniors who are in nursing facilities or whose income is less than 200 percent of poverty level, said Jan Stumpf, a volunteer and special events director for Twilight Wish, based in Doylestown, Pa.
“We do various levels of wishes,” Stumpf said. “There are different categories. Simple needs are hearing aid requests, dentures and lift chairs. We have 18 chapters in 13 states.”
All applications for wishes are filed either online at www.twilightwish.org or by calling Klinger at 708-691-0097, or Klinger can approach a recipient directly, she said.
Wishes are all determined by a committee at the headquarters, Stumpf said.
Illinois used to have a Twilight Wish chapter, but it has been a few years since it was active, Stumpf said. Klinger’s chapter will serve the whole state unless other regional chapters are founded, but these must be at least 50 miles away.
Because there used to be a chapter in Illinois, the remaining $700 in that account is accessible to the new chapter, Klinger said.
“We’re trying to get the word out,” Klinger said. “I’m working through my job connections with my patients to find worthy applicants.”
According to its website, Twilight Wish also offers the DUTY program – Dining Unexpected Thank You – if a diner sees an elderly person eating out and would like to treat that person to a meal, the diner would hand the DUTY card to a waitress and pay that person’s bill. It also sponsors an Intergenerational Caring Program that matches younger people with residents of nearby nursing homes.