• Action 9 investigates wish-granting charity

    By: Todd Ulrich


    ORLANDO, Fla. - There are many charities raising money to grant sick children their wishes. A local mom says Kids Wish Network used her child to raise money, but so far has not delivered her wish as promised.

    At times, Isabella's diabetes has been so intense her mom says it's impossible to control. “At one point she was having four to five seizures a month, having to call 911. She was unconscious,” said Jenna Buckler.

    There are other complications. Isabella is very shy, so she only talks to her family.

    Buckler was thrilled when Kids Wish Network said Isabella qualified for a wish. Her list included a weekend in Washington, D.C.

    But now a year later, Buckler said she was caught off guard, “And my heart sank, and it was oh no.”

    Buckler said the charity posted her daughter's picture on its website asking for donations last year. Then last month it was removed. And now the charity isn't telling her why or if her daughter's wish will ever be granted. “To have no communication from them and her pictures was just up and gone it's really shocking,” said Buckler.

    Kids Wish Network is located near Tampa. Action 9 checked its latest tax return. It raised $14.1 million but spent only $2.2 million on wish grants.

    Charity Navigator gives Kids Wish Network a zero, its lowest rating, because it spends far too much on fundraising.

    The charity never responded to the BBB about how its finances. “Any charity that is responsible to their donors and respects their donors and depends on your dollars should be transparent and participate in a review process,” said BBB President Holly Salmons.

    After Buckler contacted Action 9, the charity responded, and a representative said Isabella’s wish will be granted and that nothing changed.

    The Kids Wish Network representative also told Todd Ulrich that the charity is reviewing her case.

    Buckler said her daughter, is counting on her. “That's alright Mommy and I know you'll make it OK,” Buckler said in recounting what Isabella told her.

    The charity representative said thousands of wishes have been granted in the last 20 years. There was no explanation as to why Isabella’s picture was removed.

    Next Up: