This post was originally produced for Forbes.
Frank Shankwitz, a former highway patrol officer, seems like an unlikely person to have launched one of the most culturally significant nonprofit organizations in the country. The Make-a-Wish Foundation grew out of Shankwitz’s effort to grant the wish of seven-year-old boy with leukemia who wanted to be a Highway Patrol Motorcycle Officer.
Shankwitz is now working on a second act, launching Ripple Effect, a crowdfunding platform, to help anyone become a hero. He notes, “As a founder of the Make-A-Wish Foundation, I’ve seen an amazing phenomenon when people rally around a worthy cause. Perhaps the best thing about Ripple Effect will be that anyone can come up with an idea to benefit an important cause: Anyone can be a hero.”
Back in 1980, Shankwitz used his motorcycle to help Chris Greicius fulfill his dream shortly before he passed away. From that simple gesture, Shankwitz built an organization to deliver wishes. Today, the Make-A-Wish Foundation reports fulfilling a wish every 38 minutes on average.
On September 29, 2014 at 4:00 Eastern, Shankwitz will join me for a live discussion about Ripple Effect and his goal to scale impact again. Tune in here then to watch the interview live.
More about Ripple Effect:
RippleEffect.org is a non-profit that creates and manages event, media and online benefits for all types of charities and important individual causes.
In 1980, while assigned to the Arizona Highway Patrol as a motorcycle officer, Frank was one of the primary officers who helped grant the “wish” of a 7-year old boy with leukemia, who wanted to be a Highway Patrol Motorcycle Officer like his heroes Ponch and John from the television show, “CHiPS”. Chris was made an honorary Arizona Highway Patrol officer, complete with a custom made uniform, badge and motorcycle wings. Chris succumbed to his illness and passed away a few days after receiving his wish. Chris was the inspiration for Frank to start and found the Make-A-Wish Foundation.