“I’m the Executive Assistant to the President & CEO so I get to see more of the business and administrative side at work, but I really enjoy volunteering because it brings me closer to our mission,” said Allyse, who became a volunteer a few years after moving to Arizona.
“I grew up in Minnesota and then I moved out here to go to college for nonprofit management in 2011. I was going to school at Arizona State University when I heard about Make-A-Wish though a campus event. I decided I had to become a wish granter.”
Allyse also had a personal connection to the organization. When she was 9, her cousin received a wish.
“She wished to go to Ireland and I remember how impactful the experience was for her and for our family,” she continued. “I think it really stuck with me over the years and it made me want to become more involved as I grew up.”
Since Allyse’s volunteer training, she has granted nearly 10 wishes including room renovations, shopping sprees and trips to exciting destinations!
“I have a wish kid named Matthew who wished to have a shopping spree because he is starting college this year,” she said. “It was fun to coordinate with his favorite stores so he could get the electronics and technology he needed to be ready for his classes. We all worked together to make his wish day really special.”
Allyse also is a member of the volunteer screening team, interviewing potential volunteers before they move forward with wish granter training.
“I see a lot of teachers and members of the medical community because I think they hear about Make-A-Wish firsthand,” she said. “But it doesn’t matter who you are or what you do, you just have to have the heart to help these kids. I can tell right away if people are going to be a good wish granter because I can see it in their eyes.”
In addition to watching her fellow wish granters grow personally and professionally throughout the process, Allyse has seen her own wish kids transform before her eyes because of their wish experience.
“My wish kid Emily was so shy at first, so we created a fun way she could count down to her wish to Hawaii by removing a seashell from a bottle each day,” said Allyse. “The next time I saw her, we had a Polynesian dance group come to celebrate her wish send-off and I remember she was so full of energy and had the biggest smile on her face.”
“I love having this opportunity working with kids and families,” Allyse continued. “Granting wishes is an amazing thing to do.”
My Wish: I would wish to hike Machu Picchu in Peru