Return to mobile version
social bannersocial

Wish Blog

Apr 08, 2019

National Volunteer Week 2019

nvw
For 2019 National Volunteer Week, we would like to recognize a few individuals across our great state that have helped us in various ways by giving up their time, energy and talents to support our organization. Stay tuned each day this week for a new story featuring some of our most dedicated volunteers!
 lindsey percival

A note from Lindsey,
our Volunteer Coordinator:
              

We are so excited for a whole week dedicated to thanking our incredible volunteers! Make-A-Wish Oklahoma relies on our incredible volunteers, the backbone of our mission, to grant the wish of every eligible child. Because of the the tireless efforts of wish granters, event volunteers, committee members and many other volunteer roles, we can transform lives of children, one wish at a time.

On behalf of the entire Make-A-Wish Oklahoma staff, we wish you a happy Volunteer Appreciation Week and thank you for all that you do!


Cody Burnett
Wish Kid & Wish Granting Volunteer

cody

“Being a Wish Granter is a dream come true!”

Anyone can be a wish granter, even a past wish kid, like Cody! When Cody was 16 he was diagnosed with leaukemia. Cody's wish was granted in 2001 where he wished to have his own recording electronics!

In 2018, Cody decided to become a wish granting volunteer himself!

These kids mean a lot to me and I want to do whatever I can to help as many of these kids as possible. I share a kinship with them and understand what they are going through, as I went through something similar.”

Cody was personally impacted by his own personal wish being granted and now can turn around and grant wishes to other wish children! He grew up around the very kids that inspire him to this day.

He relates to kids on a personal level and knows what it is like to be in doctor’s offices, appointments, etc. “All I want to do is to take them out of their routine of doctors and face masks and take them to a job that they themselves design!

We are so thankful to see your story with Make-A-Wish come full circle, Cody! Thank you for your unique perspective on the transformative power of a wish, and your efforts to share that joy with more wish kids!


Caitlin Funk
Wish Granting Volunteer

caitlin

Caitlin is one of our newest wish granters but has hit the ground running! She has been a part of granting four wishes since signing up in October of 2018 and is very excited to add more to her list!

caitlin

The impact of a wish extends far beyond the wish child and their immediate family and Caitlin is a perfect example of that.

“My niece, Cydney, is and always will be my inspiration for getting involved with Make-A-Wish. She is a wish kid from Arizona and after her experience I knew that I had to get involved!

Caitlin saw the impact a wish had on Cydney and decided giving back and getting involved was the least she could do. Thankfully, there’s a local Make-A-Wish chapter for Caitlin to give back to. She has had the opportunity to meet many inspiring, strong and kind people. On Caitlin’s first wish to be a part of, she was able to shadow two other wish granters and learn helpful tips and hints from two people who shared her excitement and passion for helping others. After shadowing her wish granter peers, she was able to feel confident signing up for more wishes.

caitlin

On Caitlin’s second wish she met her wish child in her hospital room… “you would never guess that she had spent days in the hospital because she had a huge smile on her face and was laughing and playing. We had a long talk about Disney Princesses and she decided she wanted to meet ALL of them! The family was grateful and enthusiastic about her wish…”

Caitlin saw first hand the impact a wish has on a family and she can share not only the good news of a wish being granted to other families but also the excitement of the experience with them! 

caitlin

… seeing their excitement about a family trip to Disney World is exactly why I became a wish granter.”

And we are so glad you did, Caitlin! Volunteers who are willing to serve in any way, and do what they can for wish children, are what makes our mission come to life! We know you are looking forward to granting more wishes, Caitlin! Thank you for all you are doing for Oklahoma wish kids and families.


Kari Sanchez
Wish Granting Volunteer

kari

Kari joined the Make-A-Wish volunteer family in October of 2018. Like many others, our mission had a great impact on her life personally. She was inspired by her cousin who was granted a wish years ago and continued to give back to kids who stayed in the same hospital she once had.

kari

"I knew I wanted to honor her life and legacy by helping kids who were fighting big battles, so I chose Make-A-Wish Oklahoma.”

Kari has a special place in her heart for children and their families fighting big battles in their lives. Being a part of the Make-A-Wish family was a chance for her to serve and help others.

She recently began her first wish granting experience. As a wish granter, Kari will help design the wish experience by giving the wish family updates throughout the planning process and will plan a celebration when the wish is granted. But Kari isn’t a one-and-done wish granter, she is excited to meet more children and get to know their families to continue granting wishes!

Not only does she want to grant wishes and meet more families, she also wants to create more awareness and recruit more volunteers where she lives in southern Oklahoma. Every 34 minutes, somewhere in the United States, a wish is granted to a child fighting a critical illness. Behind each one of those wishes are volunteers who donate their time and talent to make the impossible possible. Kari understands the important role of wish granting at Make-A-Wish and how the wish granters help our organization continue in our mission to grant life-changing wishes to children with critical illnesses.

We are very thankful for Kari’s decision to volunteer as a wish granter for us. Her love for Make-A-Wish and wish children is so evident. We couldn't be more excited to have you as a volunteer, Kari!


Ann Gagliardi
Wish Granting Volunteer

ann

Ann first signed up to be a wish granter in August of 2014 and hasn’t looked back since. Although Ann is now retired, her commitment to Make-A-Wish and how important it is to her makes her grant children look up to her! The wishes Make-A-Wish grants to children are very important to her and she holds them very close to her heart.

Ann was hooked on Make-A-Wish when she noticed how much wish kids SMILE! My first thought is how much Make-A-Wish kids SMILE and how much I love seeing that.”

Ann’s connection to each of her wish kids is a special and memorable one. She is committed to making a lasting connection with her wish kids. Even if it has been years since they have seen each other, it does not feel that way.

“Cameron was my very first wish child when I signed up in August of 2014. I saw him and his family at the annual Walk For Wishes fall event and it was like I just saw him yesterday.” ann1

There are two specific wish kids Ann keeps up with, Kaitlyn and Elena. Ann had the opportunity to watch both girls be incredibly strong and courageous as they fought their illnesses. She continues to stay in touch with them and be with them through all the updates. This shows Ann’s dedication goes far beyond getting a wish granted. She cares deeply for the children and wants to know what is happening in their lives.ann2 ann3

Not only is Ann an incredible wish granting volunteer, she also is very crafty! Starting in the Summer of 2018,  Ann made Make-A-Wish Oklahoma knit beanies and ear warmers! She made a large assortment of both and gave them out for free to wish kids. Ann, along with the Dream Weavers group at Silver Elms Retirement have continued to make the hats and headbands to be used as wish enhancements from wish granting volunteers.

ann4

“These kids are amazing. Again, I love all the SMILES!”

Ann’s selfless heart and willingness to give time, effort and talents of crocheting are the reason our mission continues to touch the lives of more and more children. Ann is such a blessing to our organization and her love for us and our mission is what makes it all come to life! Thank you, Ann, for all you have given and continue to give to us, wish kids and their families!


Topgolf OKC Employees

Special Event Volunteers

When the word volunteer comes to mind, an entire corporation isn’t always what is pictured. That is why Topgolf’s partnership with Make-A-Wish is so special! Topgolf has been a national partner with Make-A-Wish since 2016. Topgolf has committed to donating one dollar from every order of their Injectable Donut Holes to help grant wishes to children fighting critical illness! Generous and yummy! The company also sends groups over to volunteering during special events that Make-A-Wish holds!

This past March, Topgolf had a large group at the 2019 Wish Luncheon to add more hands-on deck. The group had multiple people helping in differing areas, such as check-in, bagging purses, delivering purses and more!

Topgolf Oklahoma City’s Marketing Manager, Nathan Packer, stated, “Topgolf has been a Make-A-Wish partner for three years now and absolutely enjoys having the opportunity to create meaningful connections with wish kids across the country.”

Topgolf

Caring is one of Topgolf’s core values and the company lives that out by volunteering their time and donating to Make-A-Wish. There have been multiple Wish Parties held at Topgolf for wish kids and they are always looking for more ways to get involved with Make-A-Wish!

From throwing parties, to celebrating wishes, to lending a helping hand, Topgolf has been an asset to our organization. Their caring hearts for Make-A-Wish and willingness to give to our mission in any way it can is what makes everything work together and come to life! Thank you, Topgolf, for all you do for our organization and wish kids!


 

Ann first signed up to be a wish granter in August of 2014 and hasn’t looked back since. Although Ann is now retired, her commitment to Make-A-Wish and how important it is to her makes her grant children look up to her! The wishes Make-A-Wish grants to children are very important to her and she holds them very close to her heart.

Ann was hooked on Make-A-Wish when she noticed how much wish kids SMILE! “My first thought is how much Make-A-Wish kids SMILE and how much I love seeing that.”

Ann’s connection to each of her wish kids is a special and memorable one. She is committed to making a lasting connection with her wish kids. Even if it has been years since they have seen each other, it does not feel that way.

“Cameron was my very first wish child when I signed up in August of 2014. I saw him and his family at the annual Walk For Wishes fall event and it was like I just saw him yesterday.”

About this Blog

Go behind the scenes at Make-A-Wish® Oklahoma, hear from wish participants and supporters, and join in the dialogue through the wish blog.

Join the conversation

Leave a Comment
Make-A-Wish® Oklahoma
1900 NW Expressway
Suite 700
Oklahoma City, OK 73118
(405) 286-4000
Toll Free (888) 901-9474
Make-A-Wish® Oklahoma, Tulsa Field Office
4504 East 67th Street
Building 11, Suite 208
Tulsa, OK 74136
(918) 492-9474
Toll Free (888) 831-9474