“One night I was watching the news, and I saw a segment about the founding of Make-A-Wish. I was surprised to hear it was founded right here in Arizona, and I knew I wanted to get involved,” said Jeannie. “I had volunteered with disabled people in the past, but I wanted to try something new. I wanted to work with children. I went to the volunteer orientation and knew right away that Make-A-Wish Arizona was the right fit for me.”
Jeannie’s favorite part of volunteering with Make-A-Wish is the connection she forms with the wish kids and their families.
“It’s such a joy to be able to meet the entire family. Sometimes the kids are shy when we first arrive to the initial visit, but by the end of it we always leave with a hug. And the bonds develop so fast. For a little while it’s like being a good part of their family.
In her time as a volunteer, Jeannie’s life has been touched by the impact a wish can have on the families who receive wishes.
“The wishes provide these kids and their families with something to think about other than their medical conditions. It gives them something to look forward to,” said Jeannie. “For me, every wish has been so rewarding. We get to step in at a time when the family really needs joy and hope. It is the best feeling to see it all come to fruition and to be a part of something good. I’ve become more aware of the struggles people go through. It makes me even more grateful for the opportunities I have to help.”
In addition to granting wishes, Jeannie also spends her time as an office volunteer.
“Make-A-Wish Arizona is celebrating its 40th Anniversary next year and I have the opportunity to help research and gather materials to tell the full story of the chapter. It is really special to be involved in this process, because the founding of Make-A-Wish was what initially sparked my interest in volunteering.”
“Volunteering with Make-A-Wish has been truly life-changing. I know that if I could have one true wish, I would wish for every child to have their wish come true.”