Justin Bieber has a huge amount of fans and many think that he can do no wrong. Unfortunately, like any other teenager, he has made his fair share of mistakes. He has also gotten more than his fair share of bad press lately. Not all his recent press has been bad though. Earlier this month the media was proud to announce that his Baby had broken records and gone “diamond.” Now he has made another record, but this newest record has no music and is not even a song.
The 19 year-old pop star set a wonderfully different kind of record on Saturday August 17 this year. The Canadian singer granted his 200th wish through the Make-A-Wish Foundation which has put him in a special category. He is the only recording artist throughout the foundation’s history to grant 200 wishes.
The Make-A-Wish Foundation is a non-profit charity organization that was founded in the US. The foundation grants wishes to children who have terminal or life threatening illnesses. The charity feels that by granting these wishes that they can “enrich the human experience with hope, strength, and joy.”
For a child to qualify for a wish, they must be between the ages of two and a half years-old and 18 years-old when they are referred. The child’s doctor is the ultimate authority is deciding their eligibility.
The Make-A-Wish Foundation has 62 chapters located throughout the United States and they operate in a further 47 countries around the globe with 36 affiliate office. David A. Williams is the president and CEO of the foundation.
The foundation came into being in spring of 1980. A seven year-old boy, Christopher James Greicius was being treated for leukemia. Chris had always wanted to be a police officer. A United States Custom Officer, Tommy Austin became friends with young Greicius and he arranged for the Arizona Department of Public Safety officers to work out an experience for the boy. The experience turned out to be a day long jaunt with Chris being a police officer. His activities included riding in a police helicopter; getting a custom-tailored police uniform; and getting sworn in as the first honorary Department of Public Safety patrolman in Arizona state history.
Christopher James Greicius passed away soon after his experience, but his wish became the inspiration for the world’s largest wish-granting organization. In 1993 Make-A-Wish International was officially created to serve five countries outside of the United States. The original countries were the United Kingdom, Israel, Japan, Pakistan and Turkey. The Make-A-Wish International had the same mission as Make-A-Wish America. The International Foundation division now helps to grant children’s wishes in 47 countries on five continents.
WWE Superstar John Cena holds the record for the most wishes granted at over 400. But Justin Bieber has just leapt to top of the list of recording artists who have granted wishes. So the singer’s newest record is not of the musical variety at all.
Eight year-old Annalysha Brown-Rafanan was the 200th person to benefit from Bieber’s generosity to the Make-A-Wish Foundation. She got to meet her idol in Atlanta, Georgia on Saturday. Entertainment Tonight reported that Annalysha turned her “meet-and-greet” opportunity into a Question and Answer session.
The eight year-old asked as many questions, not least of which, was would he marry her. For the record? Bieber said yes. Annalysha suffers from a life threatening liver condition and her mother was very pleased that her daughter got to meet her idol.
Entertainment Tonight spoke to Annalysha’s mother, Cortina Brown. The eight year-old’s mother said, “Justin Bieber makes her happy, and through all her illness and poking and all that, it just takes away from ‘I’m sick.’”
Justin Bieber may have quite a few critics, but with his newest record of 200 wishes granted, he has surpassed his music title as pop star. For one little girl at least, he is the idol she always wanted to meet and Bieber made it happen. We will go on record and say to Justin Bieber, “You may be a teenager, but, Mr Bieber, you are the man.”
By Michael Smith