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Wishing Well Blog

Mar 05, 2014

Wish Wednesday: Working for Make-A-Wish A "Rewarding Experience"

Lisa at work!
“There is no exercise better for strengthening the heart, than reaching down and lifting people up.” – John Holmes

That is just what our wish kids need—a positive chance to dream, that will lift their spirits and outshine draining medical treatments that are seemingly unfair for just a small child. Our wish kids deserve an opportunity to have a huge imagination and an enthusiastic dream. They deserve an extraordinary vision within reach. A vision that gives them the strength and hope that they can beat their illness. Some way. Somehow. That they can keep fighting and make it through such difficult times. That they can embrace the joy of just being a kid again.

As a full-time employee at Make-A-Wish for nearly seven years, I’ve had the privilege to reach out and offer kids a chance to find that vision. But, it’s not only lifting wish kids’ spirits--it’s also providing hope and strength to the entire family as well.

When I was a college student, I always knew I had a passion for helping others—for leaving a small mark on someone’s life. The thought that one act of kindness could make someone’s day better, in some way, made my attitude and my day a bit better. I applied for an internship at Make-A-Wish as a college senior and was thrilled to work as a program services intern during my last semester. A few short months later, I was hired as a full-time employee. I now work on the Support Services team, maintaining our donor database, writing thank you letters to our generous donors, handling frequent flyer air miles donations and various other tasks.  I also work closely with our marketing and communications department on social media.

As an employee, I often have friends and family, and sometimes even complete strangers, say to me, “Wow, you work for Make-A-Wish…that is wonderful, but it must be so sad to work there!” And truly, they couldn’t be more wrong. Working for Make-A-Wish has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. Witnessing such strong-willed children tackle, what for most of us would be our worst nightmare, but yet they are so positive, so determined and so courageous to push forward, amazes me each and every day. When a kid anticipates their wish and is given that chance to dream, their little faces burst with energetic smiles. And sometimes, for just a few moments, time stops for the wish family. All their worries melt away when they witness their child’s overwhelming positivity and excitement of a wish. When dreaming up their wish, our wish kids can take charge of their lives again and allow their imaginations to run wild and free—like a kid’s spirit genuinely should.

So whenever I am asked the dreaded question I mentioned above, I am happy to share my experience of some remarkable, resilient wish kids and the amazing wishes that change their lives. I can share how everyone here at Make-A-Wish strives to lift the spirits of our wish kids. But ultimately, it is our wish kids’ courage, determination and enthusiasm that lift my spirits every day. That keep me pushing forward. That make my daily problems miniscule. That gently remind me to appreciate the little things in life. Learning from our wish kids has strengthened me in many ways, and for that I am grateful.

So, if that’s a sad job, well then, I guess I’ll take ‘sad’ any day.  

About this Blog

This blog brings Make-A-Wish Greater Pennsylvania and West Virginia to you -- sharing first-person stories of the Make-A-Wish experience and the impact of a wish from the perspectives of wish families, volunteers and staff. This blog highlights wishes come true and the special people in Pennsylvania and West Virginia that help create life-changing experiences for every eligible child.

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Make-A-Wish® Greater Pennsylvania and West Virginia, Inc.
The Gulf Tower
707 Grant Street, 37th Floor
Pittsburgh, PA 15219-1938
(412) 471-9474
Toll Free (800) 676-9474
Make-A-Wish® Greater Pennsylvania and West Virginia, Southern West Virginia Office
888 Oakwood Rd
Oakwood Center, Suite 330
Charleston, WV 25314
(304) 342-9474
Toll Free (800) 664-9474
Make-A-Wish® Greater Pennsylvania and West Virginia, Northern West Virginia Office
913 Canyon Road
Morgantown, WV 26508
(304) 292-5600
Toll Free (888) 808-9474