Moore helping grant “Wild Wishes”
You will not see Chester Moore in the duck blind or cruising the coastal bays in search of southern flounder as much as you used to.
It is not because of a lack of interest, but something he says is a much deeper calling.
“Through the ministry me and my wife founded, we have a program called ‘Wild Wishes’ that grants exotic animal encounters to kids who have a terminal illness or have lost a parent or a sibling and it has been the most amazing thing I have ever been involved with,” Moore said.
Moore’s grandmother, the late Ruby Pickard, founded an organization called My Wish Inc. in 1982 to grant wishes to terminally ill children in Southeast Texas.
“At eight years old, I accompanied her on that first wish where a little boy who simply asked for an American flag to fly over his home in Mauriceville.
That had a huge impact because at the time I would asked for something extravagant like an African safari or the entire Star Wars merchandise collection but here was a boy my age with leukemia wanting a humble flag. That event and being able to see her give so many children happiness birthed a heart for kids even while I was one,” he said.
His grandmother has since passed away but “Wild Wishes” is a way to not only honor her memory but also reach out to hurting families in a unique way.
“My Wish was only for the terminally ill but ours also includes families who have had a loss and that has been the case in the bulk of our wishes. We have seen families come together over these wishes and children get new wind under their wings so to speak as they get to encounter amazing animals and have a day dedicated to them in the name of Christ at our Kingdom Zoo: Wildlife Center,” Moore said.
Moore has published more than 5,000 articles, a dozen books, appeared on numerous television networks and hosted a radio program for 17 years but says getting to serve children is far more rewarding.
“I have been blessed with a tremendous career which I have enjoyed greatly but getting to reach out on behalf of our Lord to kids with my ultimate passion which is wildlife is just amazing. Me, my wife, daughter Faith and our Kingdom Zoo team just love this program,” Moore said.
Wishes have included encounters with zebras, wolves, owls, giant tortoises and a llama among others.
“Kids love animals and we have found no matter what they are going through that encounter gives them hope and that is what it is all about,” Moore said.
The search is always on for more children who need a “Wild Wish” granted and financial support is always appreciated.
Moore said he will never forget the “wolf wish”.
“Animal World & Snake Farm Zoo in New Braunfels provided an incredible morning where he got to meet a beautiful wolf and many other exotic animals,” Moore said.
Moore invited a friend with a wolf out to meet them for lunch after their visit to the facility.
The wolf dog named “Lucy” that had never met the little boy who wished for the encounter, jumped out of a truck, ran through a crowd and stuck its head in the little boy’s chest.
“If you know anything about wolves and wolf hybrids, that is not their typical behavior. They are very shy. This one was gentle but super shy and she literally ran right to the boy and never left his side all afternoon. It was almost as if God planned that, put that into the wolf somehow to touch that boy. He had leukemia at the time but for a couple of hours he got to run with a wolf. That was one amazing thing to see,” Moore said.
The boy is now cancer free and the family said they think frequently of that wolf and the “Wild Wishes” program.