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Volunteer FAQs

There are many exciting components to being a Wish Granter with Make-A-Wish®. Below are the answers to frequently asked questions about our volunteer program.

Can I volunteer around my work schedule? 

Yes. Many volunteers are working professionals. We strive to be as flexible as possible with our volunteers' time, and we ask the same in return. 

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Why do I have to undergo a criminal background check?

Make-A-Wish volunteers are trusted to work directly with our wish families and may handle Make-A-Wish resources (including money or donated goods) as they arrange wishes or volunteer at fundraising events. For the protection of the wish families and Make-A-Wish itself, we require criminal background checks of all staff and volunteers. We do not enlist the services of volunteers who have certain criminal records. All information in the application and any acquired through the background check remains confidential and is used only for screening and placement purposes. 

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How do I apply? 

Please visit our Become A Volunteer page to learn more. 

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How long is the application process? 

Depending on the type of volunteer role you are seeking, it usually takes between three weeks and three months from the time your application is received until the time you can begin volunteering. Once you are on board as a volunteer, though, we usually have you volunteering right away! 

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Are volunteers very involved with the children? 

Wish granters have the highest level of involvement with children and their families. They make the initial contact with the family, ask the child about his/her most heartfelt wish, and coordinate the details of granting the wish with Make-A-Wish staff. Wish granters meet a family at the beginning and end of a wish at the very least, but may rely on telephone and email correspondence during the rest of the wish process. Our emphasis is on delivering a one-of-a-kind wish experience rather than on developing ongoing relationships with families or children. As a new volunteer, you will receive training and be partnered with an experienced volunteer to ensure that you are comfortable meeting with the families. 

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Do you have volunteer positions that aren't emotionally demanding? 

In many cases, the organization's work has a high emotional content. In such cases when volunteers are interested in supporting our mission while limiting their involvement with families, we suggest volunteer roles in fundraising events. All volunteer positions contribute equally to the Make-A-Wish mission.

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Can anyone be a volunteer? 

Wish granters must be at least 21 years of age. Volunteers must be positive, outgoing, and passionate about children and our mission. It is important that volunteers like people and work well with others. 

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I'm not 21 years old. Can I still volunteer for the Make-A-Wish? 

Although all wish granters must be 21-years-old, there are a number of other volunteer opportunities for students. 

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Can wish families volunteer? 

Yes! Wish families often want to become volunteers after their wish is complete. Most families decide to involve themselves either through public speaking or as a wish granter. We request that wish parents wait until after their child's wish has been granted before becoming a wish granter. 

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Does volunteering require additional training? 

Wish granters do require training. You will be notified of upcoming training dates once your application has been received and processed. 

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Do I need to participate in a wish to be a Make-A-Wish volunteer? 

No. There are many areas of the volunteer program beyond wish granting that can draw on your abilities, from planning, organizing or promoting, to writing, designing or administrative assistance. 

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What if I have limited time available to volunteer? 

If you have limited amounts of time, you may want to be a fundraising volunteer. There are various assignments to choose from that can fit your interests and availability. 

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Do I need to make a financial contribution to Make-A-Wish before I can volunteer? 

No. We welcome cash and in-kind donations from all supporters, but it is not a requirement for volunteering. 

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How much time does a wish require to fulfill? 

Some wishes, like gift wishes, are quick and easily fulfilled. Other wishes, like travel wishes, could take longer because the family travels on their timetable, usually based on the child's medical condition and treatment. Celebrity wishes can be the longest to fulfill, as we rely on the availability of each celebrity to schedule the wish accordingly. 

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Do wish-granting volunteers travel with the family/child?
 

No, when wish families visit another state, that local chapter helps to facilitate the wish. 

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Why are wishes handled by wish teams rather than individuals? 

A two-person team provides emotional support and helps to balance the workload. Working in teams also helps to protect volunteers from potential accusations of impropriety.

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Burke , 17

brain tumor

I wish to go to Seattle to tour Microsoft, Xbox and 343 Industries

Burke's Video Game Dreams Become a Reality

Madeline , 8

cystic fibrosis

I wish to have a gymnastics room

Madeline Gets a Gymnastics Room

Trevor , 4

medullablastoma

I wish to be a construction worker

Trevor becomes a construction worker

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