“I’ve always loved working with kids and I wanted to keep doing something that involved children,” said Judy, who first heard about Make-A-Wish Arizona from Tucson Board Ambassador, Pam Crim. “She mentioned it was a great organization and I was excited to be a part of my Tucson community in a way where I could give back.”
As soon as Judy started granting wishes, she was hooked.
“It’s so fulfilling to be able to make wishes come true for kids and families,” said Judy. “Make-A-Wish Arizona is the best organization you could ever work with and the most rewarding thing I’ve ever been a part of – and I’ve felt more connected than I have with any other organization."
“Initial visits are the best because I feel like Santa!” she continued. “I can look into a child’s eyes and tell them to dream big and wish for anything they want!”
One of Judy’s favorite parts about working with Make-A-Wish Arizona is the relationships she has built with many of her wish families before, during and after a wish is granted.
“I have a wish kid named Miriam, who wished to touch sand because she had never been to the beach before,” she said. “Her family sent me a video of them during their trip and it brought tears to my eyes, watching her smile.
“Another one of my wish kids, Penelope, joined me at the Walk For Wishes this year and after she returned from her wish to New York City, she and her family invited me over see their souvenirs and talk about their experience,” she continued. “That meant so much and they even got me a postcard!”
Judy, who has granted more than 10 wishes, has also enjoyed her experience working with other volunteers and talking to other people in her Tucson community.
“Some people have the perception that Make-A-Wish could be sad, but it’s really just the opposite,” she said. “I always tell them, as a volunteer, you bring a child and their family such a positive gift when they could be going through difficult times."
"These kids get to be so happy and embrace life - because of you! And that is an amazing thing.”
My Wish: I wish to plan a reunion with all of my wish families.