“Our winery hosts fundraisers for different nonprofits, and after I attended a Make-A-Wish Arizona event, I knew I wanted to become a volunteer as a more hands-on way to support the community,” she said.
“I wanted to connect to the mission and its purpose.”
Gayle attended a volunteer training in 2017. Now an official volunteer wish granter, she regularly selects wish kids in remote areas, traveling to support kids who might not have many volunteers nearby.
“If I’m going to our vineyards or visiting my kids at Arizona State University or Northern Arizona University, I can make a trip out of it,” said Gayle. “There aren’t many wish kids who live in Cornville, so I’ll drive wherever I can to be able to meet with them.”
One memorable wish that Gayle recently granted is Leyevsca’s wish to have a support dog.
“She wished to have a Yorkie because she wanted to have a friend and a companion,” said Gayle. “I’m still in touch with her family and she is excited to start culinary school this year.”
Gayle says her favorite part about volunteering is the initial meeting with wish kids and their family.
“I have so much compassion for wish kids and everything they are going through, and it’s great to be able to do something positive for them. It’s very fun to research their interests and find out what excites them,” she said.
Her volunteer role has given Gayle an overwhelming sense of gratitude and encouraged her to continue to expand the work she does with the chapter.
“At first, I didn’t want to commit too much because my schedule is so busy, but it’s nice having another volunteer to work with so you feel like you are part of a team,” she said.
“I feel like the work we do is going to make a difference in a long-term way, and each wish is something that will stay with our wish kids for years to come.”