I was first introduced to Make-A-Wish when I became a caregiver to a child with cerebral palsy who has a seizure disorder. I met Katie when she was nine years old and immediately knew she would be in my life forever. Although she was the strongest, most lively nine year old I knew, her seizures affected her every day life. Thankfully, she received a wish shortly after I started working with her. Buffy, “the vampire slayer” service dog, came into our lives. Buffy stayed by her side through school, out on our trips, and could even lick Katie out of a seizure. Katie’s seizures drastically decreased and now at age thirteen, she has barely any. Thanks to one heartfelt wish, Katie had the ability to continue to achieve great strides in everything she puts her mind to. I can’t begin to explain my gratitude for this organization and what they have done for Katie.
When I left for college, I wasn't sure if I would get to experience something so special again. Then I went through recruitment with the hopes of getting involved on campus. After hearing from different chapters, I saw something different in Chi Omega. Once I heard that they work closely with Make-A-Wish, I knew it was where I belonged. I heard the passion in the girls’ voices when they talked about serving their community. I saw excitement in their eyes when they talked about meeting the wish kids. I experienced their selflessness when the whole chapter spent countless hours volunteering, crafting, and organizing every s'more sale, karaoke show, and festival to benefit Make-A-Wish, all with smiles on their faces. It became evident that this philanthropy is much more to us than just another organization: it drove us, it inspired us, it became our purpose. Chi Omega didn't just allow me to get involved at my university but it allowed me to get involved in something much bigger than what I could ever anticipate, Make-A-Wish. For that, I am forever grateful.
Seeing a wish change Katie’s life and working with MAW through Chi Omega inspired me to seek other opportunities within my community involving this incredible foundation. I was presented the extraordinary opportunity to be an assistant coach for the middle school team of “Lacrosse for Wishes in Southern Ohio.” Lacrosse for Wishes is a non-profit summer lacrosse program where kids get the chance to raise money for Make-A-Wish. It was more than just a team, it provided an opportunity to teach selflessness and community to kids through a sport they love. Coaching meant more to me than I can put into words. I got to see firsthand 11-13 year old kids spend their time doing something charitable and noble while growing to be kind members of their community. I saw hope for a better future, where these young girls were raising money and asking for nothing in return, to benefit kids just like them. It was truly beautiful.
My life seems more complete with Make-A-Wish in it. I have seen this organization touch so many lives, changing them positively in a way that not many people see often. Whether it is a wish kid and their family, the volunteers, fundraisers, or community supporters, Make-A-Wish provides hope. I feel blessed that it is in my life for these next three years in Chi Omega and I know that I will seek a partnership with them in the future.
Learn more about the Chi Omega and Make-A-Wish partnership at wish.org/chiomega Thank you to all of our Chi Omega Chapters for everything you do to make wishes come true.