Hi guys! I hope you’re enjoying a relaxing Saturday!
I have another reader volunteer story to share with all of you this afternoon. Today’s story comes from Hayley who wrote to me to tell me about her experience with the Make-A-Wish Foundation. I hope you enjoy reading about her involvement with the amazing organization as much as I did!
To learn more about the Make-A-Wish Foundation, click the link below to visit their website:
The sole purpose of the Make-A-Wish Foundation® is to grant the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions, in order to enrich the human experience with hope, strength and joy. They want to provide children with the hope for better times, the strength for the tough times and the joy to experience the present. Granted wishes can be as practical as a new computer, as creative as conducting an orchestra or as memorable as attending the Olympic Games in London!
What’s also amazing is that 97% of wish families say that the experience of their child receiving a wish gave them the opportunity to be a “normal” family again. Nothing seems normal when you have a child with a life-threatening condition but Make-A-Wish® does everything they can to make every wish kid’s experience as magical as possible starting at the very moment they are approved for the wish.
I first became involved with Make-A-Wish® of Oklahoma as an intern in 2009. Seeing firsthand how incredible the organization was became an unforgettable experience and I felt honored to put together wish trip itineraries for wish families as well as contribute to a little girl’s dream playhouse. I even had the opportunity to grant a wish while I was an intern! My sweet wish kid wanted to go to Disney World with her family; her bright eyes and big smile made it easy to forget she was battling leukemia. When I handed over all the goodies we had packed for them to take to Disney World, her mom thanked us as her eyes welled up with tears. I’ll never forget it.
After I finished college in Oklahoma, I moved back to Dallas, where I grew up. It didn’t take long for me to get information about the Make-A-Wish chapter in North Texas and I soon become a wish granter and volunteered to recruit participants for this year’s Walk for Wishes.
The Make-A-Wish® North Texas Walk for Wishes is a 5k and Fun Walk where participants, wish kids and volunteers take big strides to make more wishes come true. Every dollar raised from this fun-filled event will go to fulfilling the wishes of North Texas children. If you’re in the Dallas area, check out my blog post about the event and how you can get involved.
What has really complemented my experience with Make-A-Wish® is the use of social media. When I was an intern, I created and managed the Oklahoma chapter’s Twitter account. It took no time at all for us to begin receiving messages of thanks and willingness to donate to wishes. The staff was pleased to see the quick response and outreach while I began to see how these social platforms and the mission of Make-A-Wish® could easily intertwine.
Once I graduated and began working in the digital marketing industry, my expertise was extremely useful when it came to representing and promoting the organization. I work for a full-service marketing agency in Dallas so we’re always on top of what’s next in the industry as well as how we can give our clients the best. I approach my time for Make-A-Wish the same way! As I’ve begun recruiting for Walk for Wishes, I have found that blogs, online magazines and social networking have been some of the most effective ways to get people excited about the event.
- To learn more about volunteering with a Make-A-Wish® chapter near you, visit wish.org.
- Resources/Photos: http://www.ntx.wish.org/, https://www.facebook.com/makeawishnt/photos_stream
- Hayley: http://hayfwood.wordpress.com/, https://twitter.com/hfwood
Additional reader volunteer stories:
- Girls On the Run
- Back On My Feet
- Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation
- Big Brothers Big Sisters
- Cooking Matters
- National Sports Center for the Disabled
- Coalition for Refugee Resettlement
- Orlando Science Center
- Special Olympics
- The Humane Society
- Relay for Life
- Athena’s Warehouse
- Tampa Bay Watch
- Everybody Wins!
- New York Cares
- Team Rubicon