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Wish Blog

December Volunteer of the Month: Beth Kennedy

Beth Kennedy, Volunteer of the Month
When she retired from teaching, Beth Kennedy started searching for her next adventure. Eventually, a path led her to Make-A-Wish Arizona.

It all started when Beth met Make-A-Wish Arizona staff member Rob LaMaster at a networking event in Southern Arizona. There she learned about the charity’s history and how one Arizona boy inspired the creation of the non-profit organization 39 years ago. 

“I heard about Chris’ wish to be a police officer in 1980, and I immediately thought of my husband because he’s a helicopter pilot for the Pima County Sherriff’s Department,” said Beth, who has lived in Arizona for 10 years. 

“I contemplated how he might be able to help other kids who had similar wishes, and then I thought, is there anything I can do to help?

Beth was pleased to learn she could become a volunteer wish granter with Make-A-Wish Arizona with a simple one-day training in Tucson.

“I was intrigued with the process and how, we get to explore how to make a child’s one true wish happen,” said Beth. “I was even happier to find out you can sign on to more than one wish at a time and that I could help multiple kids!”

It’s been three years since Beth’s training and now, she is a seasoned wish granter who only has positive things to say about her experience. 

“My whole career, I’ve always wanted to volunteer but I just never found the time and didn’t know how,” said Beth. “I would volunteer in my teaching capacity, coaching or helping with clubs at school, but granting wishes is like a way more personalized version of teaching.”

One of the wish kids Beth has developed a special bond with is Linda, who wished to go to Hawaii with her family.

“I taught high school, so I’m really comfortable talking to kids who are older,” said Beth. “I thought it was so funny because I asked Linda how her wish trip was going and out of all the things to see in Hawaii, she kept texting me photos of the cute boys she saw!”

“Since her wish, I was invited to her 18th birthday party and her high school graduation,” she continued. “We go through so much with these families and they let us into their home and truly open up to us; it feels good to know my relationships with so many of them have turned into meaningful friendships.”

Beth also discovered a recent friendship with nearby volunteer Debbi Martin, who now signs on to wishes with her in Sahuarita and outlying areas. 

“I think I completed one wish with Debbi and now we are on six wishes together!” she said. “It’s just as easy to drive to wish kids who live in Rio Rico and Nogales as it is in Tucson because I’m about the same distance from both. It doesn’t matter where it is, whenever there’s a family that needs a wish granter, I always say yes.”



About this Blog

Make-A-Wish Arizona is the founding chapter of Make-A-Wish, the international wish granting organization. Our chapter grants incredible wishes every day for Arizona children with life-threatening medical conditions. We want to share the stories of our wishes -- and the inspiration, creativity, imagination and life-affirming enthusiasm that they bring -- with you.

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June 25, 2012 - 11:25 AM

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Make-A-Wish® Arizona
2901 North 78th Street
Scottsdale, AZ 85251
(602) 395-9474
Toll Free (800) 324-9474