“My wish was the first family vacation we ever had and one of the best parts of my childhood,” said Melissa. “I decided to become a volunteer because the feeling of hope from that experience never left me.”
Today, 30 years later, Melissa sees the impact of a wish from a new perspective – as a volunteer who helps kids discover their one true wish.
Melissa enjoys giving kids that same sense of hope. That is why she is currently working on five active wishes.
"In this challenging time, we have the opportunity to connect with wish kids and show we care about granting their wish as soon as it is safe to do so,” said Melissa. “Many kids had their wishes postponed, but I know just thinking about a wish draws out hope, excitement and the kind of pure happiness that is extra special for a kid to have – especially right now.”
Melissa, who has cystic fibrosis, finds her wish experience helps her relate to kids dealing with critical illnesses and encourages her to see a positive outlook in any situation.
“I live in Southern Arizona and now that it isn’t safe to meet with kids in person, I can be more involved because I'm not limited to working with wish kids in my area,” she continued. “Plus, while we're used to visiting a child's home, doing virtual visits from my living room gives me an opportunity to share a piece of my life with my wish families which has been fun."
Melissa appreciates the connections she’s made with many families over the years as well as the long-term impact a wish can have on a child’s life.
“My first wish kid, sweet little Evelyn, is such a cutie pie who makes everyone she meets smile. She wished to go to Disney World to ‘see where the princesses live’ and her reveal party was an extra special day because it was also her one-year bone marrow transplant anniversary,” she said. “It’s been a few years since her wish and we still keep in touch.”
“My wish kid Alvaro wished to have items for his band when he was 17, so we got him gear, a guitar and worked with a personal shopper to find them all matching outfits. Now he’s an adult and plays at gigs professionally,” she continued.
“When I get a text from a wish kid saying ‘Thank you for the best day of my life’ or a wish mom pours her heart out about what an impact her child’s wish had on them, I can see how essential a wish can be and I’m so grateful for this privilege to be a part of their lives.”
Now, you have an opportunity to provide the same source of hope Melissa received 30 years ago to families today. In honor of our 40thanniversary, EyeMail Inc. is matching donations $1 for $1 to help us grant wishes for 40 wish kids waiting.
Why should I give today?
- 100+ Arizona wish kids had their wish postponed and we have more kids waiting in our community than ever before.
- We are still granting local wishes (like gaming computers and online shopping sprees) that we need your help to grant due to losses in critical funding.
- Every $1 you donate will double – to help us grant twice as many wishes for Arizona kids fighting critical illnesses.
Please donate if you can today at arizona.wish.org/40match. Even if you aren’t able to give at this time, you can help by sharing this news with your family and friends.