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Yuma volunteer Shelley Ostrowski has granted more than 100 wishes

Yuma volunteer Shelley Ostrowski has granted more than 100 wishes
“I volunteer at quite a few places and Make-A-Wish Arizona is something I will not give up. I love it, it’s close to my heart and I love that the people around me are getting involved too.”
Shelley first heard about Make-A-Wish when a volunteer contacted her because she was the President of the Yuma Association of Realtors and they were looking for new volunteers to help grant wishes. After hearing about Make-A-Wish and their mission, Shelley decided being a wish granter would be a perfect fit for her lifestyle, her work and her heart. Now, almost 15 years later, she has granted more than 100 wishes.

“Being a wish granter impacts your life and it makes you feel good, knowing you are doing something and giving back to kids in your community,” said Shelley “I can’t express how much this means to me.”

Shelley recalled the first wish she granted, “There was a 4-year-old girl with leukemia who wished to go to Disneyland to meet all the princesses. She was so shy, but we eventually got her to open up and soon she was so excited to go on her trip. Those moments when the child learns they are receiving their wish are the best part. After she returned, we heard about every single meeting she had. It was magical.”

Shelley with a wish kid

Shelley is one of the top wish granters in Yuma, which sees almost 8 percent of the state’s wish kids in their area. It is such a close community, one of Shelley’s favorite wishes was for a neighbor. 

“There was a young man who lived down the street from me who had lost his sister to leukemia. He was diagnosed with a blood disorder just a year later and was encouraged to refer for a wish,” Shelley continued “He wished to meet Tom Brady. Because we had talked about our rivalry before, the wish kid knew I was not a fan of Brady’s, but I was glad he was getting his one true wish and it was fun giving him a hard time about his wish choice.” 

She realized “football and rivalries are just a game, but this was this kid’s one true wish and Brady did an awesome job making it happen. It was so touching.”

Shelley with a wish kid

Shelley also is a cancer survivor and believes it helps give her insight on what these kids are going through.  

“Getting to meet these kids and be a part of their life and see the strength they have, makes you realize what you can do in life because of what they are going through; they give us strength and they don’t even realize it,” she continued.

“You should not take life for granted,” she advises. “Live every day, some days are good, some are bad and we are all stronger than we think.”

Shelley with a wish kid

If Shelley could have a wish of her own, it would be “to never have to grant another wish kid’s wish, for everyone to be healthy”.


Send a message of hope

With many of our wishes postponed, we want you to help keep our wish kids’ spirits high! Write, video or photograph yourself sharing a message of hope and post to any of our Make-A-Wish Arizona social media channels at @makeawishaz (tag @makeawisharizona on Instagram) and use the hashtag #WishesAreWaiting.

You can help bring hope to a child who needs it!

Send a Message of Hope

About this Blog

Make-A-Wish Arizona is the founding chapter of Make-A-Wish, the international wish granting organization. Our chapter grants incredible wishes every day for Arizona children with critical illnesses. We want to share the stories of our wishes -- and the inspiration, creativity, imagination and life-affirming enthusiasm that they bring -- with you.

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