One Simple Wish

CNN Hero: Danielle Gletow, 16 year olds usually dream of smartphones, Xbox, expensive shoes... some even dream of getting their own car! Ronald Hennig just wanted a suit so that he could attend a relative’s funeral.

“I didn’t really own even a shirt and tie or dress shoes,” he said. “I was [going to be] seeing some of my old family members, and it was kind of embarrassing to not have a suit when everyone else would have one.”

The teenager, who had been in and out of foster care for much of his childhood, was living in a group home at the time. His caseworker was unable to justify the nonessential expense.

But an anonymous benefactor stepped in to help Hennig through a website called One Simple Wish.

“I got custom-fitted for the suit, and I was able to go to the funeral,” said Hennig, now 18. “I could pay the same respect as everyone else.”

One Simple Wish was born in 2008, conceived by Dannielle Gletow, to empower more people to support children who have been victims of abuse, neglect and abandonment in very simple yet meaningful ways. Each child’s wish is posted online, and anyone can contribute in order to make that wish come true—from tangible items such as a bicycle, a varsity jacket or school supplies, to an experience like music lessons or a trip to the theater.

Since 2008, the nonprofit has granted more than 6,500 wishes for children living in 42 states. “All children deserve happy childhoods. One Simple Wish creates them.”