“I’ve loved the mission ever since I was a little girl,” said Chelsey. “I started donating to Make-A-Wish when I had my first job at 16."
It wasn’t until a very difficult time in her life that Chelsey connected with the local chapter to become more involved.
“My brother passed away and my path completely changed,” she said. “I started working in the nonprofit industry and searched for a way I could give back and help others, so I decided to go to a volunteer training to become a wish granter.”
Since then, Chelsey has granted more than 20 wishes for children fighting critical illnesses. In fact, next month marks her 7-year anniversary as a wish granter with Make-A-Wish Arizona.
“I’ve been a wish granter for so many years that it’s become a part of me and who I am. I can’t imagine my life without it,” she said.
One of Chelsey’s favorite wishes to date is her recent room renovation for 10-year-old Alizynn.
“When I met Alizynn he was sleeping on the couch for years because his bedroom was a constant reminder of his cancer diagnosis and he was afraid to stay in his own room,” she said. “He loves the Jets, so we renovated his room with new furniture, bedding and wallpaper to help him feel more comfortable in this space and give him a place where he can make new, positive memories.
“The day we revealed his room, Alizynn started to cry because it meant so much to him. His mom told me that he is sleeping really well now, for the first time since he was diagnosed,” she continued.
It’s moments like these that bring Chelsey so much joy as a wish granter.
“Wishes truly help and heal, and I love being part of room renovation wishes because you can see kids really transform throughout the process,” she said. “I get to go into a family’s home with a sense of hope and I believe I can make their lives better.”
Plus, Chelsey loves the creative outlet her wishes provide.
“Every wish is so unique so there are tons of possibilities for specials enhancements, countdown calendars, and ways to get the community involved,” she said. “I’m always impressed by the local businesses I work with for send-off parties or other elements of a wish. The general manager of DICK’S Sporting Goods drove to three separate stores to get Alizynn the items he wanted for his room!”
In her spare time, Chelsey enjoys going hiking, boxing and traveling on weekend trips with her friends. She even helps grant wishes at her day job, as member of the corporate alliances team at Make-A-Wish America.
“I’ve been trying to work there for years!” she said, with a laugh. “I think the fact that I am a wish granter and know the mission so well helps me do my job even better and I see the purpose of the work I do every day.”
My Wish: I wish to go to Thailand to ride elephants