Special offer

Granting Someone's Terminal Wish - Acts of Kindness

Real Estate Agent with Progressive Realty (Boise Idaho) www.Progressive-Realty.info DB-17066

This month's challenge on ActiveRain includes Sharing an Act of Kindness of Someone You Know. I am writing to tell the world about a man I greatly respect, Doug Raper.

He used to work for an non-profit that grants wishes to children.  That is still a great and noble cause; however, one day he had a wish for an 18 year old.  That person couldn't receive their wish because they were "too old".

Doug Raper looked around and couldn't find any other organizations to refer them to, so he did the best possible thing . . . he started a non-profit that would! In July 2010, Wish Granters was born.  To date, they have granted over 375 terminal wishes!

I first learned about this great organization in 2014 when a friend of mine's wife was granted a wish.  They went to Alaska and were able to see the Northern Lights.  This was her terminal wish and they created positive memories that will stay with her husband and son forever. This is critical because too often, the memories are of the pain and suffering that many times accompanies the dying process.

My friend took some amazing photos of the Northern Lights and after his wife passed, I asked his permission to print 3 of the photos on metal so we could auction them off the following year at our annual charity fundraising auction.  We raised more money for those three prints than it cost so send the three of them on the trip!  It was the proverbial gift that keeps on giving!

Doug has never taken a dime for all his time and energy that he has devoted to this organization.  The organization has had multiple Presidents so far (including me in 2022) and none of us has ever taken a dime for their efforts either.  As a matter of fact, we instituted a policy a few years ago called "Give or Get" in which each one of our Board of Directors has to "Give or Get" $3,000 for the organization each year! Our board members need to bring value, not just build their resume.

Doug retired as Wish Granters' Executive Director back in 2006 but still is on their Board of Directors and tirelessly works on getting donations and discounts to help grant wishes!  His daughter is the current President and is carrying on his legacy as well.  

Please check out current wishes here: 


If you or a company you know might be able to help with any of these wishes, please contact Doug at Doug@WishGranters.org

One of the many reasons I am so grateful for what Doug has done, and continues to do, for Wish Granters, is that when I joined their Board of Directors in 2018, none of them knew my wife had been diagnosed with two simultaneous Stage IV uterine cancers.  She passed in February of 2020.  I use that as "My Why" when I help others obtain their terminal wish.

I hope you might consider helping grant a wish through this great organization.  One thing that really helps them a lot is in kind donations!  This might be: donated flights from airline employee's that get a certain number of free tickets a year; gift certificates for free nights lodging; use of a time share; gift certificates for restaurants;  tickets for experiences (theme parks, movie theaters, concerts) etc.  Since Wish Granters, Inc. is a 501c3 non-profit, they would gladly provide a receipt for you to share with your tax guru for potential deductions.

Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
Pasadena And Southern California 818.516.4393

Hello Jim - for me, the example you share shows the power of return.  And that is a word and term that can be defined as well as explored in exponential ways.  

Dec 27, 2023 09:24 AM
Jim Paulson

I agree Michael Jacobs.  I am a firm believer in if you give correctly, you get more than you give.

Dec 27, 2023 10:11 AM
Nina Hollander, Broker
Coldwell Banker Realty - Charlotte, NC
Your Greater Charlotte Realtor

Oh my goodness, Jim... you have no idea how much your post touched me. I've saved the link to Wish Granters and will make a donation, for sure.

Dec 27, 2023 09:28 AM
Jim Paulson

Thank you sincerely Nina Hollander, Broker ❤️

Dec 27, 2023 10:12 AM
Myrl Jeffcoat
Sacramento, CA
Greater Sacramento Realtor - Retired

What a wonderful mission for an organization, Jim!  I love the part about the wish being granted to see the Northern Lights.

Dec 27, 2023 10:53 AM
Jim Paulson

Myrl Jeffcoat speaking of mission, here is the revised "Mission Statement" we adopted this year . . . "Our mission is to improve the quality of life of terminally ill adults and their primary caregivers by granting wishes and supporting projects in the local community, thereby providing opportunities for these adults and their loved ones to have positive life experiences."

Dec 27, 2023 12:00 PM
Myrl Jeffcoat
Sacramento, CA
Greater Sacramento Realtor - Retired

CONGRATULATIONS Jim, on having this blog FEATURED in the Old Farts Club group!  

Dec 27, 2023 11:10 AM
Jim Paulson

Thanks Myrl Jeffcoat, this Old Fart appreciates it. :)

Dec 27, 2023 12:00 PM
Kathleen Daniels, Probate & Trust Specialist
KD Realty - 408.972.1822 - San Jose, CA
Probate Real Estate Services

Hello Jim Paulson - there is so much to love about this! 

The institution of the "Give or Get" is amazing!  Board members bring value.

Thank you for sharing this with us.  I am thankful the Feature Fairies are on the job today.  This is such a well-deserved Feature Post. 

Like Miss Nina Hollander, Broker I will be donating as well.  


Dec 27, 2023 11:23 AM
Jim Paulson

Thanks for your kind words and donation Kathleen Daniels, Probate & Trust Specialist.  In your profession, you do a lot of great work helping people deal with the inevitable in advance. I would love to get someone with your knowledge and compassion on our Board of Directors to help our recipients get advice on Probates and Trusts.

Dec 27, 2023 12:04 PM
Kat Palmiotti
eXp Commercial, Referral Divison - Kalispell, MT
Helping your Montana dreams take root

What a fantastic man and organization! I see the current wishes includes home renovations as well as vacation type event. I love it. Thank you for sharing.

Dec 27, 2023 02:51 PM
Jim Paulson

You are welcome Kat Palmiotti.  Yes, some of the renovations are medically dictated (wheel chair ramps, accessible showers, etc.)  Vacation often are a last chance to get the families together to say goodbye in a positive environment instead of at a hospital setting.

Dec 27, 2023 02:59 PM
Patricia Feager, MBA, CRS, GRI,MRP
Selling Homes Changing Lives

Jim Paulson - What a wonderful idea! Doug Raper is proof positive that one person can make positive changes for the terminally ill with no strings attached or age limitations. There is no doubt the foundation he started requires countless hours of hard work and dedication. For such a young non-profit organization, Doug Raper and the Wish Granters have already made 375 terminal wishes come true. And I have no doubt many more will be granted. 

Jim, this is a great example of getting back to the basics for giving can truly lift spirits of those who are facing end of life and their families. Charity is a a virtue by which we love our neighbors as ourselves including those in most need of hope and mercy. 

Dec 27, 2023 04:24 PM
Patricia Feager, MBA, CRS, GRI,MRP

Jim Paulson - I am glad to learn things have changed since my spouse was terminal with brian cancer. Hospice was just getting started and gave a glimmer of hope. But as a young man, it didn't work for him. I brought him back home and cared for him myself until he passed which did not take long. 

Dec 29, 2023 10:39 AM
Jim Paulson

Patricia Feager, MBA, CRS, GRI,MRP I love it when companies get behind the cause and truly step in to help.  Here are a few examples:

1.  Twisted District Brewing stepped in and granted a wish for one last Christmas style dinner together for the extended family.  They contacted their meat supplier which donated a huge prime rib.  They housed them all at their restaurant, prepared the food and the sides and deserts.  They even paid the airfare to bring in two additional family members!

2.  Knife River Corporation selected us as the recipient of their annual Holiday Employee Dinner and Auction which raised well over $30,000 for Wish Granters, Inc.

3.  Indian Creek Winery has donated their facilities for us to hold our annual Wishes and Wine live event and auction which is typically our largest fund raiser of the year.

4.  A retired oncology donates $5,000 a year and still elects to stay anonymous.

5. A Special Olympics athlete who's wish was to give money to Special Olympics on his behalf because he couldn't afford to.  This one took special board of directors approval, but it was unanimous.

There are countless families that were so touched by their experience that they and/or their companies have supported us annually as a result.

I look forward to being an advisory board member for years to come.

Dec 27, 2023 04:57 PM
Lynn B. Friedman CRS Atlanta, GA 404-617-6375
Atlanta Homes ODAT Realty - Love our Great City - Love our Clients! Buckhead - Midtown - Westside - Atlanta, GA
Concierge Service for Our Atlanta Sellers & Buyers

Jim -
Very worthwhile effort.
Giving always rewards all participants not just recepients.
Happy Healthy New Year, Lynn

Dec 27, 2023 07:33 PM
Jim Paulson

Thanks for chiming in Lynn B. Friedman CRS Atlanta, GA 404-939-2727. I smiled when I saw your smiling face looking back at me this morning. I have always received more than I give when I volunteer or do something for others.  Writing a check is a task.  I hope you have a great Healthy and Happy New Year as well!

Dec 28, 2023 04:46 AM
Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California, Inc. - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude


What a commendable organization Wish Granters is, along with the people who give their time to make it work and the various companies who have provided support. I love the Give or Get Policy that was implemented for the BOD!


Dec 27, 2023 08:02 PM
Jim Paulson

Jeff Dowler, CRS I appreciate your feedback.  We don't track it too close because most of our board members already have a giving heart.  Not all can write a big check, but they show up at our functions and actively participate or help us raise donations or in kind items to help grant our wishes.  We also require each Board of Director to go on at list one Wish visit so they see what the process entails.

Dec 28, 2023 04:49 AM
Dorie Dillard Austin TX
Coldwell Banker Realty ~ 512.750.6899 - Austin, TX
NW Austin ~ Canyon Creek and Spicewood/Balcones


I've never heard of Wish Granters but what a wonderful organization. I've never heard of any organization who had a "Give or Get" policy! I love it!!

Dec 27, 2023 08:32 PM
Jim Paulson

Dorie Dillard Austin TX so far, Wish Granters is only in the Boise area.  I can see it growing to be nationwide but we need to grow in a manageable way.  We do get Wish requests from all over the country, but we can't afford to grant ones outside of our target areas.  We have expanded to three counties now in the Boise area. 

Dec 28, 2023 04:52 AM
Laura Cerrano
Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island - Locust Valley, NY
Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher
It will never hurt for us to be kinder to one another and make somebody smile..
Dec 27, 2023 11:46 PM
Jim Paulson
Progressive Realty (Boise Idaho) www.Progressive-Realty.info - Boise, ID

I concur Laura Cerrano.  I actually find it personally healing to help others.

Dec 28, 2023 04:53 AM
Jan Green - Scottsdale, AZ
Value Added Service, 602-620-2699 - Scottsdale, AZ
HomeSmart Elite Group, REALTOR®, EcoBroker, GREEN

What a wonderful organization.   So sorry about your wife Jim.  Being involved must be a motivator to drive efforts on your behalf.  I can't imagine how that must feel, but a sense since I'm an empath.  It seems that there is no greater gift than giving of oneself for another; unless it's seeing pricesless expressions when those gifts are granted?

Dec 28, 2023 06:02 AM
Jan Green - Scottsdale, AZ

That would be very humbling and rewarding at the same time!

Dec 29, 2023 09:09 AM
Jim Paulson

It is truly amazing when we are at a function representing Wish Granters and someone walks up and thanks us for granting a wish years ago for a friend or family member. Thanks Jan Green - Scottsdale, AZ 

Dec 28, 2023 07:20 AM
Leanne Smith
Dirt Road Real Estate - Golden Valley, AZ
The Grit and Gratitude Agent

To see a dream, a wish, turned into reality by the generosity of others truly touches the heart. Thank you for sharing your experience and one of the whys for your joining this organizations.

Dec 28, 2023 06:08 AM
Jim Paulson

You are quite welcome Leanne Smith I just stepped away from a different major leadership position because their organization changed and their philosophy and lack of transparency didn't match up with "my why" any more. 

Dec 28, 2023 07:24 AM
Kathy Streib
Cypress, TX
Home Stager/Redesign

Jim- I love the idea behind Wish Granters. We volunteered for Give Kids the World in Orlando but it never occurred to me that terminally ill adults are in need of "granted wishes" as well. 

Dec 28, 2023 08:20 PM
Jim Paulson

Kathy Streib I just looked into Give Kids the World. I had never heard of it before.  Sounds amazing! 

Dec 29, 2023 10:55 AM
Brenda J. Andrew
Professional Realtor in Conroe/Willis, TX

Hello Jim.  There are no words for this post that would compare to the information you shared.  I had not heard of this organization but am going to definitely check them out.  This is such a beautiful gift and I love that the organization does the give or get.  I think I am saying that correctly.  I volunteered at a pregnancy resource center years ago and they were privately funded.  They not only wanted our time, but also our funds.  It is a great cause and gets more personal when you give of everything you have.  As I was reading this I was thinking of my dad who has multiple myeloma.  He would love to go to Alaska.  People who are sick, getting to do this type of experience, has such life lasting impressions and also helps their self confidence, knowing they can still do something of this magnitude.  Your post touched my heart and I am so thankful I saw it! Thank you for sharing your heart also!

Dec 29, 2023 01:50 AM
Jim Paulson

Brenda J. Andrew I wish your father the very best!  I recognize that is a very tough battle.

Definitely try to make it to Alaska with him.  I have done 4 separate Alaska cruises and would go again and again and again.  It is gorgeous and I love the wildlife.  Last time, we went sea kayaking and got up close and personal with a humpback whale and her calf!

Dec 29, 2023 11:45 AM
Joseph Domino 480-390-6011
HomeSmart - Scottsdale, AZ
Real Estate Made Easy

Hi Jim, thanks for bringing our attention to this great organization. Wonderful.

Dec 29, 2023 08:06 AM
Jim Paulson

I am glad to Joseph Domino 480-390-6011.  I wish it didn't have to exist, but there will always be a need for it.

Dec 29, 2023 11:47 AM
Debe Maxwell, CRS
Savvy + Company (704) 491-3310 - Charlotte, NC

I love this man and the 'give or get' mentality of the operation, Jim. What a kind, generous soul he is and I thank you so much for putting Wish Granters on our radar for future donations. I also love how involved in the organization you are. It would be wonderful if you shared pictures of those metal photos you created! 

Dec 30, 2023 06:38 AM
Jim Paulson

Thanks Debe Maxwell, CRS


I am hoping some of the great people here on ActiveRain have connections that can help with in-kind donations too.  (i.e. time share use and airline tickets).  So often, our recipients wait till the very end of their timeline that we end up having to pay last minute airfare which as you know is obnoxious!  I know an Alaskan Airline pilot that has offered to donate some of his 20 free tickets he gets each year.

Here are the photos I had printed. 

Dec 30, 2023 06:52 AM
Debe Maxwell, CRS
Savvy + Company (704) 491-3310 - Charlotte, NC

OH WOW! Gorgeous, Jim! Let me reach out to some of my pilot clients - and my brother who is also a captain for Jet Blue. Let's see what I can come up with.

Dec 30, 2023 07:06 AM
Jim Paulson

That is extremely appreciated Debe Maxwell, CRS.  Thank you!!! Anything helps!

Jan 13, 2024 09:01 AM
Dr. Paula McDonald
Beam & Branch Realty - Granbury, TX
Granbury, TX 936-203-0279

Doug sounds like a fantastic person. Thank you for sharing this about him. What an excellent example he set for so many.

Jan 02, 2024 06:39 AM
Jim Paulson

He genuinely is Dr. Paula McDonald 

Jan 13, 2024 09:01 AM