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MAKING A MARK: This foundation gives children facing medical hardship life-changing experiences. Here's how.

Chartway Promise Foundation is helping make dreams come true for children facing medical concerns, turning stress and fear into joy and hope.

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — Chartway Promise Foundation, the charitable arm of Chartway Credit Union, provides life-changing experiences to children facing illness or medical hardship.

"These are our children who are most vulnerable in society, and that's who we want to help. We want to help them, give them hope, give them smiles, bring them joy," Christine Wilson, president of the foundation, told 13News Now. "When they know that they're going to get a wish or a dream, it gives them the strength to continue on."

The nonprofit partners with other charitable groups in the community to make children’s wishes a reality.

"Rock Solid Foundation, Toby's Dream Foundation, Hooked on Hope, Saint Mary's Home for Children... They can focus on the kids, and we can focus on the funding," Wilson said. "And so together, we can make sure that all these dreams and wishes are fulfilled."

Since 1999, Chartway Promise Foundation has raised nearly $14 million to fund experiences for thousands of children and their families.

"They're not thinking about cancer, they're not thinking about treatments, and they're just making memories of the whole family together just out having fun," Wilson said. "Those are the kinds of hopes and dreams that we provide-- from small, day-to-day things that keep a family going to the big reveal that at the end of treatment, they have something to look forward to."

Wilson said it warms her heart to bring joy to children who’ve been through so much by helping make their dreams come true.

"To see these children and their faces light up when we reveal their wish, or, you know, tell them that they're going on a fishing trip or build a playset in their backyard... It's a happy thought for me, and it's certainly the happy thoughts for our children when sometimes those thoughts are limited for them," said Wilson.

You can stop in at any Chartway Credit Union location to make a donation to the Chartway Promise Foundation. Visit the nonprofit's website to give online, sign up to volunteer, or find other ways to get involved.

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