One day at work, we were informed that a young child named Becky had been granted a wish to go on a shopping spree and our store was going to host it. Several team members gathered at the front doors with huge welcome signs and a shopping cart adorned with decorations from her favorite movie, Frozen. That day, I was working back in the electronics department. When she came back, there was an instant connection between Becky and me. She wanted me to help her pick everything out from that point on, so I walked with her and her family through the store for the remainder of her trip. She was so sweet and happy, and I was glad to be one of the reasons that she had that huge smile on her face! As I walked around with them, I learned more about Make-A-Wish and what it does and was very impressed with how it could do these amazing things for children with life-threatening medical conditions.
Becky was having the time of her life that day, and I could tell by all her expressions. She would ask me for my opinion before she would decide to buy things, and she kept offering to buy me things as well. I told her that it was her day – and I think she could use those Elsa dolls more than I could! Throughout the shopping spree she told me about all her friends at school, the different hobbies she liked to do (like playing tag) and all the things in life that made her happy. Before she left, she gave me several hugs and asked me to come with them! I was shocked by how much of an impact I had on her that day, but I am so glad that I was able to help her smile and brighten her world.
Since then, I learned that there is an annual Make-A-Wish event – a Celebration of Wishes – at Lawrence Subaru in Hanover, PA, as a part of Subaru of America’s Share The Love Event. During the holiday season, local companies and community members come out to the dealership and make the holidays special for the children who are involved with Make-A-Wish. Both years that Lawrence Subaru hosted the event, Target was invited along and I went each year. We packed up some toys, board games, drinks and the all-famous popcorn from the Target cafe and set up a stand inside the dealership. The children had a chance to play beanbag toss with myself and other employees, as well as pick out their favorite toys from our selection. It was great to see so many local businesses come out to spread some joy to the families and everyone who was involved.
Target makes it very easy to become involved and posts volunteer opportunities in the office whenever they arise. More than that, every year, Target nominates one person from each store in every district to win an Outstanding Volunteer award. Our district is made of 13 stores, and this year I was nominated and won! Along with a plaque, I also received a $500 Target gift card that I had the option to donate to any organization of my choice. With all the places I have volunteered for or helped, I knew that very second that Make-A-Wish would be receiving this gift card. Since I had such a personal experience with them, it was easy to choose who I’d give it to. I am so grateful that this organization exists because I love what it stands for and how impactful it has been on my life and all the children’s lives that it has touched. I would like to help continue this movement, which is why I have decided to apply to become a volunteer and help these children smile again. I look forward to creating more moments like the one I’ve personally experienced with Becky.
If you or your workplace would like to get involved with Make-A-Wish, click here to find out more about the ways you can help!