Jason and I are ‘wish granters’ for the Make-A-Wish Foundation of WI. This is such an unbelievable volunteer opportunity. We get to work directly with wish families to help them through the wish process. By definition this job means we get to talk with the wish child about his/her one special wish, sometimes brainstorming wish ideas with the family and we help them fill out the necessary paperwork. In addition, the job allows us the opportunity to humbly walk into someone’s life at a particularly dark time and add a small bit of light and hope. This job has given Jason and I a lot to think about and is forever changing our perspective on life. The MAW staff at the office do all of the hard work scheduling and arranging all of the magic that goes into each child’s wish, and we get to deliver all of the necessary paperwork…often trip itineraries. We are so honored to play a small role in this unbelievable process.
Yesterday I had the chance to help out at a Make-A-Wish fundraiser in town. I saw another volunteer there. She and her son had come by to help for a few hours after his soccer game. Her son seemed to be about 8 or 9 years old. I don’t know this woman very well but it seems like whenever I am volunteering somewhere, she is there, often with her son. I asked her if she had been working on any wishes recently, as she is also a wish granter. She said that she had one not too long ago. She said it was for a child with severe physical problems. Without going into much detail she mentioned that the evening of their meeting she had no one to watch her son, so she asked the wish family if he could come along. She admitted she was a little nervous about how her son would react in this situation. Her face lit up as she told me that by the end of the evening her son was playing games with the wish child and they had a fun time together. He saw right past the physical challenges and found a new friend to play with.
What a gift to give your child! Not only providing him with an opportunity to be exposed to others who are different from him, but also being able to see his own Mom dedicate her time to this type of service. Her unsaid message to him through her participation in this volunteer position is that it is important to share your time and heart with others. This type of gift cannot be received by the spoken word. It must be experienced.
When I was in my pre-school years I would tag along with my Mom once a week, as she delivered meals to shut-in elderly people in our community. It was the ‘Mobile Meal Program,’ through the hospital. At the time I was too small to fully comprehend all that I was experiencing, going from one house to the next with hot trays of food, but years later, it sunk in. What a gift she gave me.
The gift of her example.