Your wish is granted: A local woman is recognized for improving the lives of seniors
- A Bucks County woman is one of the top 10 L'Oréal Paris Women of Worth for 2023
- Cass Forkin is the founder of the Twilight Wish Foundation
- The nonprofit, that grants wishes to seniors, will receive $25,000
Doylestown, Pa - Though she may not be a genie in a bottle, she does grant wishes. A Bucks County woman is being recognized for her efforts to help improve the lives of senior citizens, including those in the Lehigh Valley. The founder of the Twilight Wish Foundation is being honored by international company L’Oreal Paris.
"To personally say ‘oh my gosh, L'Oréal Paris has called me one of their top 10,’ that almost brought a tear to my eye because I'm so busy trying to make the world a better place,” said Cass Forkin, founder of the Twilight Wish Foundation, located just outside of Doylestown in Jamison, Bucks County.
Forkin is one of 10 women from across the country named the 2023 L'oreal Paris Women of Worth.
"It is with great pride that we welcome 10 more incredible changemakers into the L'Oréal Paris Women of Worth family, now 180 women strong," said L'Oréal Paris USA President, Ali Goldstein. "By championing female non-profit leaders and their selfless work, we hope to inspire people to tap into their own sense of worth to create positive change."
Forkin said a near-death experience as a child led her to believe she was destined to help people. Twenty years ago, that dream was fulfilled when she started her non-profit, Twilight Wish Foundation, granting wishes to seniors 65 and older.
Since 2003, the organization has helped more than 5,000 people.
"There's a certain percentage of our wishes that we call simple needs and they could be anything for a senior who's aging in their own home, who has a house, and equipment like refrigerators or washers or dryers are breaking down and they're not able to afford to replace them. So, we've done a lot of that kind of thing, as well as some physical things with seniors who are aging who need dentures or hearing aids."
"Dentures give somebody the ability to smile again and even to eat healthy food and hearing aids, they give someone the ability to be part of the conversation."Cass Forkin, founder, of Twilight Wish Foundation
Forkin said the majority of the wishes they grant in the Lehigh Valley are for lift chairs for seniors. These may seem like simple gestures to some people but can be life-changing to the people on the receiving end.
“I talked about the simplicity of the wishes, but dentures give somebody the ability to smile again and even to eat healthy food and hearing aids, they give someone the ability to be part of the conversation, not isolate it, and it makes such a difference,” she said.
The wishes are not always that simple though.
Some need a lot more planning, like a cross-country ride Forkin said is one of her favorite stories.
“We had an 82-year-old woman from down south who wanted to go around the country in an 18-wheeler truck and it was a two-and-a-half week logistical trip. It was quite amazing because she wanted to be a truck driver when she was younger,” she recalled gleefully.
As one of the 2023 L'oreal Paris Women of Worth, Forkin will receive $25,000 for her foundation, which has 20 chapters and 300 volunteers across the country. I got the call and I was just beside myself because I knew that meant that we would be winning $25,000 for our organization that we would be able to start five more chapters and that we would be able to grant at least five more wishes each chapter across the country, just in year one,” said the foundation owner.
They are always looking for more volunteers to help make wishes come true, she said.
This is the 18th year for the L'Oréal Paris Women of Worth program, bringing the total number of women recognized for their work in the nonprofit world to 180.
"I'm honored to have played a part in selecting this year's honoree class and am so happy to know there are so many inspiring women out there doing extraordinary work on the grassroots level, in their community, trying to help people," said actress and brand spokeswoman, Aja Naomi King.
“Women of Worth is close to my heart,” said singer, songwriter, and activist Camila Cabello, “These women are awe-inspiring. They are taking action in their communities and affecting real change.”
Nominations are being accepted for 2024 on the L'Oréal Paris Women of Worth website.