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Lyn Brown’s secret to running a successful charity isn’t much of a secret.
She operates Make-A-Wish Foundation of Hawai’i like a business, watching how each dollar is spent, ensuring everything is done by the book and keeping the organization focused on its mission.
“You have to treat it like it’s your own business,” said Brown, executive director of the charity that grants wishes to children with life-threatening conditions. “I like to think of us as being a nonprofit run as a for-profit organization.”
Kapolei resident Mela Edrada, whose 13-year-old son, Anthony, got to meet Cleveland Cavaliers basketball superstar LeBron James in January before dying of cancer two months later, has nothing but praise for Make-A-Wish.
The charity arranged an all-expenses-paid trip for Anthony and his family to Cleveland, where Anthony met James, sat in a luxury skybox to watch the team play, and went shopping in the Cavaliers souvenir shop with his favorite player. James had given Anthony and six other children from other Make-A-Wish chapters gift cards to spend in the shop.
Once Anthony and his family returned home, he couldn’t stop talking about the experience, even as his condition began to worsen. He would happily take friends and relatives to his bedroom to show off the Cavaliers jersey â€” with Anthony’s name on the back â€” signed by James, the autographed basketballs and the other team paraphernalia he brought back.
“He was just so amazed and happy,” Edrada said of her late son. “I could just see it in his eyes.”
That expression of joy is what the Make-A-Wish staffers strive to bring to all the children they help.
Source:Â Honolulu AdvertiserÂ