Making Wishes Come True

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On Friday, I volunteered with the Make-A-Wish Foundation of the Mid-South’s “Heart Filled Wish-A-Thon.” You may remember that I started volunteering with MAW in college, when I got my first communications internship at the Central and South Texas office. As always, it was a great time with friends and visiting with the Wish Kids when not manning the phone bank.

I was really nervous about this year’s grand total. Compared to last year, the phones simply weren’t ringing. Last year, I volunteered for the same shift (4-6 p.m., which is crazy busy because we’re on two radio stations and a TV station during drive-time and prime-time TV), and I literally spent 2 straight hours on the phone with practically no breaks. This year, I only answered about 5-6 calls – it was eerily silent. So imagine my surprise when I got the grand total email today – $220,000!!! AMAZING!!! That’s $40,000 better than last year’s total!!

Apparently, we got fewer, yet bigger donations this year, whereas last year we got tons and tons of smaller donations. Hey – MAW will take your money in whatever increments you’d like to give it – it’ll spend just the same!

I wanted to give a HUGE shout-out to the people of Central Arkansas. You raised a ton more money this year than you did last year, and you’re really helping share the power of a wish!! With the average cost of a wish being $5,000, that’s a whopping 44 wishes granted from this radiothon alone!! I cannot tell you how sincerely HAPPY I am that the people of Arkansas stepped up and gave to such a wonderful cause.

MAW has a very special place in my heart, as evidenced by my 8+ years of volunteering with them. I urge you – if there is a cause that speaks to you, donate! Whether that’s time, money or materials, they’ll appreciate it!! Having worked in a few nonprofits, I can tell you that every dollar and paper clip count, so please never think that your donation is too small or inconsequential.

These wishes bring so much joy not just to the Wish Kid, but also to their entire family. Imagine every ounce of your energy, every dime of your paycheck and every inch of your brain being fully devoted to beating a life-threatening illness. That’s what these kids and their families go through every.single.day. Now can you imagine the relief when, for a short period, your worries are washed away and you can live in a state of pure joy, where hospitals, medicine and surgeries don’t exist. It does a wonder for the whole family.

A lot of people ask me – are all Wish Kids terminal? And to that I say ABSOLUTELY NOT! To be eligible for a Wish, a child must be between 2.5 and 18 years of age and have a life-threatening, degenerative or progressive disease. It does NOT have to be terminal! In fact, tons of these kids go on to live normal, healthy lives – part of which, if you ask me, comes from the hope, strength and joy derived from their one true wish. Here are some more facts about MAW and the Wish Granting process, should you be interested.

Again, thanks to everyone who gave to MAW on Friday! It means SO MUCH to me, but even more to these kids.

WHOO HOO FOR WISHES!!!

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