Embrace the Community: New Haven Hosts Joseph for Make-A-Wish Day

Embrace the Community: New Haven Hosts Joseph for Make-A-Wish Day


UNH Football Welcomes Joseph to Spring Football Practice.

WEST HAVEN, Conn. – Saturday's Spring Football practice at New Haven wasn't just about the Chargers, it was about a special young man, Joseph from Waterbury, Conn. Joseph joined the Charger football program for a day as the New Haven Department of Athletics and Make-A-Wish® Connecticut collaborated to deliver Joseph's wish. 

Joseph's day began by signing a one-day "contract" as the newest recruit for the New Haven football team. After meeting his new teammates and getting dressed in his brand new Charger football uniform, Joseph led the Blue and Gold offense on their march to the field for practice.

Once at the field, Joseph took part in a number of drills as part of the tight ends group and had an opportunity to kick a 25-yard field goal. Following practice, Joseph joined his new teammates and members of the New Haven SAAC for a post-practice meal provided by Texas Roadhouse in Orange, Conn.

Following the meal, Wish Granters from Make-A-Wish® Connecticut presented Joseph and his family with his Wish, a cruise to the Bahamas which he and his family will embark on during April.

The University of New Haven was granted the opportunity to host a Wish Delivery after raising the most donations among the 15 Northeast-10 institutions, raising more than $5,400 for Make-A-Wish® in 2016-17. This is the second opportunity the Chargers have had to assist in delivering a wish, doing so in 2015 for Conor from Darien, Conn. who went on a European Cruise.

Overall, Division II schools throughout the country raised more than $633,770 for Make-A-Wish® during the 2016-17 academic year, exceeding $600,000 for the third-straight year in the partnership between NCAA Division II and Make-A-Wish®. As a division, the $633,770 exceeded the previous year's efforts by more than $25,000.

The NCAA's alliance with Make-A-Wish® began in 2003 and since then has raised more than $5 million. That money has been used to grant wishes to almost 700 kids across the country with life-threatening medical conditions. According to a 2011 Wish Impact Study, the wishes can impact children's fights against their illnesses, helping them feel better and, in some cases, get better.

-Release provided by New Haven athletic communications staff-

About Make-A-Wish: 
Make-A-Wish grants the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions to enrich the human experience with hope, strength and joy. According to a 2011 U.S. study of wish impact, most health professionals surveyed believe a wish-come-true has positive impacts on the health of children. Kids say wishes give them renewed strength to fight their illness, and their parents say these experiences help strengthen the entire family. Headquartered in Phoenix, Make-A-Wish is one of the world's leading children's charities, serving children in every community in the United States and its territories. With the help of generous donors and more than 27,000 volunteers, Make-A-Wish grants a wish somewhere in the country every 37 minutes. It has granted more than 254,000 wishes since its inception in 1980; more than 14,200 in 2014 alone. The Connecticut chapter has granted over 2,500 wishes since its inception in 1986. Visit Make-A-Wish Connecticut at ct.wish.org to learn more.

The NE10 is an association of 15 diverse institutions serving student-athletes across 24 NCAA Division II sports. Together we build brilliant futures by embracing the journey of every student-athlete.

Each year, 4,500 of those student-athletes compete in conference championships in 24 sports, making the NE10 the largest DII conference in the country in terms of sport sponsorship. Leading the way in the classroom, on the field and within the community, the NE10 is proud of its comprehensive program and the experience it provides student-athletes.