What ways are you involved as a volunteer?
We are working on our 26th wish as Wish Granters, are Meet & Greet volunteers and mentors, help through Speaker’s Bureau and as Event Volunteers and generally any way that we can be of assistance! We’ve done fun things like host a Princess Party at Disney on Ice, recorded a segment for WCCO Miles Drive, and were part of the Wish Granter training videos.
How did you first find Make-A-Wish?
Charlie’s cousin’s son, Justin, was a wish child in the late 1980’s and went to Disney World. Justin lost his fight with cancer and in 1991, a memorial golf tournament was started to raise funds for Make-A-Wish MN. We had been involved only through the tournament and in 2011 a Wish Mom spoke at the tournament dinner. It was so impactful that we decided we would become more involved.
How long have you been volunteering with Make-A-Wish MN?
We started doing Events in 2012 and we worked on our first wish together in March 2013.
What has been the most rewarding experience of volunteering with Make-A-Wish?
There are so many ways to volunteer that it’s easy to fit into your life. We have met many incredible wish kiddos and families, volunteers, and staff members. We are blessed that many are still in contact and part of our lives. Experiencing a wish, as a Wish Granter or even for a couple of hours as a Meet & Greeter, helps put your life into perspective. Suddenly, your aches & pains, worries, or troubles don’t seem to be so overwhelming. Putting a smile on the face of a kiddo or family member may seem small but it is truly the biggest reward.
What advice would you give to new volunteers?
Volunteer in many ways! We thought that Events would be our “favorite” when we first started. That is until we went through Wish Granter training and fell in love with that experience. Then we did our first Meet & Greet and now have done over 150! Your heart will grow with each experience – every one is different but rewarding. Best of all, you are in control of how much or how little time commitment is needed. You’ll find that it doesn’t take much time to be the reason someone smiles!
What story would you share to inspire others to become a volunteer with Make-A-Wish?
Our first wish was Dian’s wish to go to Bora Bora. It became a rush wish, as doctors said her health was failing quickly. When she got back from Bora Bora, she went for a scan and was told that whatever it was they did since the previous scan, they needed to keep doing it because her cancer had diminished significantly! We experienced the true power of a wish through her. She went on to live nearly 2 more years.