“When my wife passed away, I just wanted to find a way to occupy some time and maybe do some good for people,” Bill said. He started by volunteering at a Make-A-Wish chapter in California, helping staff with office work and follow up.
The more Bill learned about the mission and the children Make-A-Wish served, the more he wanted to help. Soon after starting his office work, he began donating money. After talking with some of the wish kids and staff, he went through wish granter training.
“After hearing about some of the wish kids and their medical conditions, I realized I could help individual children see their wish come true,” Bill said. “That made it very personal to me. The idea that I could donate money, see where that money went, and then be involved with the child and his or her family was life changing for me.”
Bill’s first wish made him realize right away that becoming a wish granter was the right decision for him. He granted the wish of a young boy who was born without functioning kidneys. The boy endured a tough, grueling road that consisted of many surgeries.
“I decided to adopt his wish to go to the Walt Disney World® resort,” Bill said. “He loved it, and it was a huge relief to his mom. I was happy for them, and proud of the fact that I was able to help a truly deserving wish kid get a bit of relief from his medical condition.”
Bill eventually moved to Arizona but he continued his relationship with Make-A-Wish, focusing on Arizona wish kids today.
“Wishes can be emotional – that’s for sure – but to see a kid’s face when their wish comes true, there is nothing like it,” said Bill.
In total, Bill has adopted more than 12 wishes, and every wish holds a special place in his heart. He can’t pinpoint a favorite, but he said he does enjoy the wishes that involve members of the child’s community.
“I had one wish, a girl named Faith, who had a defective pulmonary artery that required several surgeries. Faith wished to have a mini-farm in her backyard, so I worked together with Home Depot and the local sheriff’s department to get it done,” said Bill. “The farm has really helped her grow in so many ways. Moments like that are why I do what I do.”