How It Began

 

From Tragedy Rose Inspiration

Wish Upon A Hero was first conceived by founder Dave Girgenti shortly after the September 11th attacks on New York City. From his home in NJ, Girgenti watched as thousands of people posted pictures of missing loved ones throughout the city. He thought there had to be a faster, more organized way to connect people in need. That was the moment in which the idea was born.

Less than five years later, Hurricane Katrina created a similar catastrophic event in New Orleans where hundreds of thousands of people needed immediate help. This time it wasn't just about locating loved ones. Hurricane victims needed everything from healthcare services, food, fresh water, clothing and shelter. It became clear that Wish Upon a Hero needed to become more than an idea. Over the next two years, Girgenti exhausted every resource at his disposal to create an online community that offered a platform for people to help people. Working under the mantra of “No wish too large and no hero too small,” Girgenti created Hero Network, which launched in September 2007. This is a peer-to-peer social helping network that connects those in need with people who can make a difference.

In early 2008, Mr. Girgenti, received an email from a woman who pleaded for her wish to be granted. He told her to be patient because wishes take time to grant. The woman was a mother of a child who needed $10,000 in Chemotherapy drug treatment and did not have the luxury of time. Although individuals were capable of giving smaller sums of money, this wish would required considerable financial support. As a way to raise money for larger impending wishes, the Wish Upon A Hero Foundation was created. Wish Upon A Hero Foundation received 501c3 status in June of 2008.

In December 2009, the Wish Upon A Hero Foundation was faced with the challenge of raising $10,000 worth of Chemotherapy drugs to grant a wish for Rob, a 44 year old father of two. Rob had a cancerous brain tumor removed and his insurance company would not cover the cost  of Chemotherapy treatments. With a matching donation from an anonymous user, the Wish Upon A Hero Foundation was able to raise $10,000 in 3 days from people across the country. The wish was granted just in time for Christmas.