Sunday was my first time volunteering with Make-A-Wish Foundation at their Over The Edge event. I am familiar with Make-A-Wish through my involvement with the Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC). For those not familiar with it, RMHC is a nonprofit organization that offers a place to stay for families of kids who are seriously ill and need medical attention far from home. I interned at RMHC Austin while I was in college and also had the opportunity to work for RMHC in San Antonio for a few months after I graduated just before getting a full time job with the American Cancer Society here in Austin.
When I worked at RMHC in San Antonio one of "my kids", as I lovingly referred to them as, who was staying at the House, got the chance of a lifetime to go to Disney World with her family. I cannot express in words how excited this little girl was. Every day she would knock on my door and sit in the office with me and tell me about all the things she saw on "disney.com", what princesses she planned on seeing, and what rides she wanted to go on in Disney World. This little girl had seriously done her research. Her little brother, her life-saving bone marrow donor, also got to go with her and he was just as excited. Make-A-Wish not only made this girl's dream come true but something changed in her after the trip, I never saw her without a big smile on her face and she constantly ran around the House singing Disney songs to all of the other families. You would not know by looking at this sweet girl that she was really sick a few weeks ago. She was given a chance to get a piece of her childhood back that had been unfairly taken from her, and I know it was because of Make-A-Wish and all of the hard working staff and volunteers who love these kids.
Naturally, it was easy for me to chose Make-A-Wish as my June volunteering opportunity. I volunteered on Sunday for the Over The Edge event in the middle of the day and couldn't be happier with my assignment, I was stationed next to the Wish Kids! It was like a blast from the past getting to hear all of their sweet stories and how excited they were about their past trips. Even the kids who went on their trips years ago were still reeling with excitement. It was really touching when the kids cheered on parents, family members, friends, and even babysitters as they rappelled down the W Hotel. It was such a beautiful day and the event went so smoothly and I am so glad I went! I can honestly say Make-A-Wish is changing so many lives and being a volunteer and getting to see it firsthand was amazing. This is definitely an event I want to continue volunteering for as well as hopefully participating in next year! Thanks Make-A-Wish for all the beautiful work that you do and be proud of the lives that you change!