When I first received the news that Make-A-Wish Ohio, Kentucky & Indiana is one of the top eight charities nominated by the wonderful team at DSW to potentially win a $75,000 donation, I was overjoyed! The first thought that came into my head was to leave work early and go on a shopping spree at my nearest DSW and buy shoes, shoes, and more SHOES! The news made my week!
As a Development Officer and a volunteer for Make-A-Wish, I know just how significant this donation would be for our chapter. Our financial need is great, and wishes would simply not come true without generous contributions from the public and corporations alike. I also know how much of a difference this donation could make to children who are battling a life-threatening illness; it’s why I became a wish-granting volunteer in the first place. Wishes impact everyone they touch, from kids and families to volunteers and donors.
Becoming a wish-granting volunteer has undoubtedly changed me for the better. I feel and appreciate more, and I’ve never experienced anything like our mission. I’ll never forget the moment when I met my third wish child. I remember seeing the tiny child with scars on his head from his countless surgeries, clinging to his mother and crying because he thought I was there to do a painful medical test or treatment.
After some time passed, though, magic happened. He began to warm up to my volunteer partner and me; slowly smiling and playing with the stuffed Mickey Mouse that we brought him. Seeing how happy he became brought me an even greater joy, and getting the sweetest hug before I left his house was unforgettable.
As a wish-granting volunteer, I have had three families share their very personal journey with me. I now understand how challenging times can be when you have a child who is fighting a life-threatening illness. There are countless trips to the hospital and so many special parts of childhood that are missed due to treatments and medical restrictions.
In the midst of all of this, I see Make-A-Wish as an essential ‘break’ for the wish child and their family. A wish takes a child’s mind off of everything bad happening, and instead lets them focus on something they want – something that brings them happiness.
There are still more than 1,600 children in our chapter who need a wish. A wish that can change their perspective. A wish that can give them the hope, strength, and joy to fight on.
I share my experience with you in the hope that you’ll join me and share a little of yourself with a child who is fighting a life-threatening illness. In this case, there’s an easy way to help. From June 3rd-14th, put your best foot forward (maybe even in shoes from DSW!) and VOTE for Make-A-Wish to win the $75,000 donation.
With your help, we can make an impact that will be felt by the children in our community who need it most.