Make-A-Wish Illinois seeks area volunteers

  • Grace, a teen from St. Charles, was granted her wish for a puppy last July. Grace's life-threatening heart condition qualified her for a wish from Make-A-Wish Illinois.

    Grace, a teen from St. Charles, was granted her wish for a puppy last July. Grace's life-threatening heart condition qualified her for a wish from Make-A-Wish Illinois. Courtesy of Make-A-Wish Illinois staff

 
 
Updated 1/28/2021 7:56 PM

Every day, more children in Illinois are diagnosed with critical illnesses that would qualify them for Make-A-Wish. In fact, more than 100 wish children in Illinois are waiting for volunteers to help grant their wishes. Start the year off by enriching your life and others through volunteering as a wish granter for children in your area.

Wishes are happening now, and volunteers are needed in most Illinois communities to work with families in safely distanced ways following local, state and Centers for Disease Control guidelines.

 

Volunteers bilingual in Spanish and English are especially needed.

To become a volunteer, the first step is to attend a Volunteer Information webinar. The next sessions are: 5 to 5:45 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 4; noon to 12:45 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 18; 8 to 8:45 a.m. Wednesday, March 3; or 5 to 5:45 p.m. Tuesday, March 16. Sign up at wish.org/illinois/our-events.

Brian Vasquez of Barrington has found being a Make-A-Wish volunteer for the last few years inspiring, helping him to appreciate the good things in his life.

"I have three healthy kids and as I read stories about what wish kids have overcome, I knew I could help," Brian said. "I'm a fairly upbeat and positive person, so the thought of being able to put a smile on kid's faces and provide hope was appealing to me."

The anticipation of a wish can be the hope a child needs to get through another treatment, painful procedure or simply another day. Most importantly, wishes can improve a child's quality of life. While travel wishes have been postponed, many other wishes continue to be granted. Wish granting volunteers work in teams of two to help a child discover the heart of their wish and, with support from Make-A-Wish staff, grant a life-changing wish with everlasting impact.

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All Make-A-Wish volunteers must be over 21; complete an application, reference and background check; and attend a brief online training to begin granting wishes. For more information, contact talent@illinois.wish.org.

Make-A-Wish Illinois creates life-changing wishes for children with critical illnesses, seeing to bring every eligible child's wish to life because a wish is an integral part of a child's treatment journey.

Research shows children who have wishes granted can build the physical and emotional strength they need to fight their illness.

Since being founded locally in 1985, Make-A-Wish Illinois has granted more than 16,000 wishes and continues its mission to share the power of a wish with children in all areas of the state. For information or to get involved, visit wish.org/illinois.

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