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Carol Bradley Bursack, Published May 25 2008

Groups focus on wishes of ill adults

Dear Readers: I’d recently read a “Dear Annie” column where an adult daughter wanted to know if there was an organization that grants last wishes to ill adults, similar to organizations that grant wishes to ill children. Later that day, I picked up a travel magazine and found a blurb about places where you can donate air miles you won’t use.

I made a mental note of both of these bits of information, but nothing more formal than that. The next day, when I collected my mail from my work mailbox, I found a sticky note over the same “Dear Annie” I’d read the day before. A colleague had also read it and thought I might be interested in the issue. How many hints do I need? I began my research by checking the Web sites listed in “Dear Annie.”

The first site was also the first one mentioned in the travel blurb. It’s Dream Foundation at www.dreamfoundation.org, 1528 Chapala St., Suite 304, Santa Barbara, CA 93101. I was suspicious at first, as the column said “dreamfoundation.com.” Most of you know that .org after a site usually indicates a nonprofit organization, where .com does not. However, what this site has done is buy both domains (.com and .org) because people are used to typing in .com, so this makes them easier to find. Dream Foundation is asking for frequent flyer mile donations to help plan dream trips for ill adults. From all obvious indications, this looks like a good organization.

Others mentioned in the column were Fairygodmother Foundation at www.fairygodmother.org, 213 West Institute Pl., Suite 509, Chicago, IL, 60610 and The Dream Lives On at www.thedreamliveson

.org, which looks to be the same organization as The Dave Bruchhauser Fund, also mentioned in the column.

Her Heart’s Wish at www

.herheartswish.org, PO Box 294, Lititz, PA 17543, is just for women. Celebrity names such as Dave Matthews and Della Reese are “wish granters,” which lends credibility.

Never Too Late at www.nevertoolate.org, 8538 Tidewater Dr., Indianapolis, IN, 46236, is for seniors and looks wonderful, but it is local for people in Indiana.

One site mentioned, Happiness Unlimited at www

.happinessunlimited.org, 310 South St. Morristown, NJ 07960, concerns me. This Web site leads to a list of free links about ways to earn money and other ad-like content. It is a page up for sale. With other solid organizations available, I’d stay away from this until there is more information to verify its legitimacy.

Two other quality places for your unneeded frequent flyer miles are Hero Miles, www.heromiles.org, which supplies tickets to injured military personnel and their families and www.miledonor.com, a site that can help find other resources that accept your miles.

So, yes, there are ways to help adults who are ill have their dreams come true. And there are places to donate your aging frequent flyer miles. At some places you can do both.

Bursack is the author of a support book on family elder care. To submit questions to “Minding Our Elders” and view past columns, go to www.inforum.com and click on columnists.

Readers can reach Bursack at cbursack@forumcomm.com or write her

at The Forum, Box 2020, Fargo, ND 58107