Magic Moments is the only wish granting organization devoted exclusively to creating magic moments in the lives of children in Alabama with chronically life threatening medical conditions. A magic moment allows children and their families to forget, even if just for a little while, the fear and pain of their illness.
Magic Moments began in October 1984 because of the efforts of two Birmingham mothers, Shelley Clark and Buffie Marks. The inspiration behind our creation started when Shelley and her daughter saw a story on television about a boy in the hospital whose dream was to ride in a fire engine. While he was in the hospital, his family arranged for the local fireman to drive a fire engine to the hospital to tell him he would get a ride in it as soon as he was well enough. The pure joy that Shelley saw on this little boy%u2019s face and the hope for this dream she saw in his eyes so profoundly inspired her that she thought, %u201CWe have to do this in Birmingham; we have to give children in Alabama struggling with illness this kind of hope and lift of spirit.%u201D Shelley then began talking to other community activists and medical professionals and connected with L.E. Patton through Buffie who was then volunteering at Children%u2019s Hospital (now Children%u2019s of Alabama). Their efforts, and a $500 grant from the Junior League of Birmingham, enabled Magic Moments to be born and the work of creating once-in-a-lifetime memories for children with serious illnesses began. In just three short months Magic Moments had fulfilled %u201Cdreams-come-true" for three chronically ill children. Today that number is over 4,200, serving children in every county of Alabama.
We have grown from a small, volunteer-only project in Birmingham, to a federally-recognized 501(c) 3 state-wide organization that has provided magic moments to children in every one of the 67 counties in Alabama. Magic Moments is able to fulfill its mission through the support of generous contributors and revenue from fundraising events. We have a staff of four full time employees and operate under the guidance of a 24-member Board of Directors, 100% of whom financially support Magic Moments. We maintain strong connections with a regional board in Montgomery, a Junior Board of young professionals and volunteers and an Advisory Board comprised of former executive committee members and past board chairs.
Because we are a Birmingham-based charity, we are able to make personal connections with the families we serve. All our staff members and the majority of our volunteers, community partners and funders are Alabama residents and natives. They frequently work, pray and go to school with Magic Moments family members, allowing them to see first-hand the powerful impact of a magic moment.