A special donation to Make-a-Wish

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) – The Make-a-Wish Foundation grants thousands of wishes for children with critical illnesses. Donations are a big factor in making sure those dreams come true

That’s why one Yankton man and his family are giving over six thousand dollars to Make-a-Wish South Dakota and Montana. The amount he’s donating has a special meaning that dates back to 1988.

Thirty-four years ago, then college student Greg Kouri, made a life-saving decision — donate a kidney to his sister Kim. For him, it was an easy choice.

“Whenever you have the chance to help somebody out like this and whenever you’re as close to somebody as Kim and I are, you do it without even thinking, you know,” Kouri said in 1988.

Now, on the anniversary of the day he donated his kidney, he’s making another decision. One that’s just as easy for him — a donation of $6,888 dollars to Make-a-Wish South Dakota and Montana.

“The donation to Make-a-Wish basically commemorates the date of the donation for my sister and I’s surgery. And that was 6/8/88,” Kouri said.

Sue Salter with Make-A-Wish says these types of donations are important for the organization.

“Our mission is that we create life-changing wishes for children with critical illnesses. And our vision is that every eligible child receives a wish. So with gifts like Greg and Jill’s, we are able to make certain that every eligible child does receive their wish,” Salter said.

In 1988, Kouri helped his own family and now he’s helping families he’s never met.

“So Greg is the kind of guy that just doesn’t like the limelight but obviously his kind heart has not only saved his sister’s life, but now he’s using his generosity, along with his wife, to really support this mission and we’re encouraging others to walk alongside him,” Salter said.

“To be able to help these families is just remarkably empowering and just something you just can’t, you’re just always better for having that opportunity and fulfilling that opportunity to give back to your community, your family, your friends, to that person that you never knew,” Kouri said.

Another interesting twist to the story. Back in 1988, Sue Salter – the President of Make a Wish – was working as an intern here at KELOLAND television. She was the one who did the story on the Kouri’s.

A special link has been set up for those who would like to donate alongside Kouri. That can be found by clicking here.

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