“We granted 153 wishes in our last fiscal year and are anticipating granting 185 in our current year – that’s about a wish every other day,” said Jamie Rasko, Communications Manager for Make-A-Wish Iowa. “The bulk of interactions that happen between Make-A-Wish and our wish families are actually done through local wish granting volunteers.”
Wish granting volunteers are assigned to a particular family and work with them from the very first meeting, called the “wish interview” and continue on with them until the wish is fulfilled. While they don’t plan out the details of the wish, they do work as a communicator between Make-A-Wish staff and the wish family.
“It’s a very rewarding volunteer activity that is absolutely unique to Make-A-Wish,” said Rasko. “We have had an increase in Spanish-speaking wish families, causing an urgent need for Spanish-English speaking volunteers in certain parts of the state. Wish kids are sometimes waiting to have their wish granted, simply because we’re lacking in volunteers with this skill.”
While translating volunteers are at the top of the organization’s wish list, it’s not the only volunteer position available. Other volunteers help plan fundraising events, do office-type work or volunteer at local events. On-line volunteer trainings are available for individuals wanting to work with the organization. Because of the high need for volunteers who can speak English and Spanish, the organization is waiving the volunteer application fee for individuals with this skill.
If you are interested in volunteering, you can find an application and more information at iowa.wish.org or call (800) 797-WISH.
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About Make-A-Wish® Iowa
Make-A-Wish® Iowa grants the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions to enrich the human experience with hope, strength and joy. The Foundation has granted wishes to more than 3,000 children with life-threatening medical conditions since 1987 and currently grants a wish every other day in Iowa. To find out more, visit iowa.wish.org. Share the Power of a Wish®.