Non-Profit Spotlight: Make-A-Wish Foundation of Greater Virginia

Non-Profit Spotlight Make-A-Wish

Welcome to another episode of The RVA Small Business Show with your host Cory Mosley. On our Non-Profit Spotlight, we are joined by Sheri Lambert, President & CEO of Make-A-Wish Foundation of Greater Virginia.

Make-A-Wish Foundation of Greater Virginia, a non profit organization that bring children and families hope, strength and joy at a time they need it most.

I think that the wishes really do provide such a turning point for a child battling a critical illness. We know that they’re more willing to comply with treatment and to also, it gives them hope and strength to fight and to carry forward. -Sheri Lambert

The Mission That Moves Mountains

“Together, we create life-changing wishes for children with critical illnesses,” states Sheri Lambert, President and CEO of Make-A-Wish Foundation of Greater Virginia. It’s a mission that carries weight, evoking emotions and conjuring notions of what true hope and joy look like in their purest forms. With 262 children waiting for their wishes, the quest never pauses—the need for community involvement, volunteers, and resources perpetually pressing.

A Decade of Dedication

Reflecting on a decade of stewardship, Sheri emphasizes the foundational motive being the mission itself—interweaving hope, strength, and joy into the lives of children and thereby, transforming families and communities.

The Ripple Effect: When Wishes Come True

The impact of a granted wish extends beyond momentary delight. It serves as a turning point for kids battling critical illnesses, enhancing their willingness to comply with treatments, and imbuing them with hope and strength. These wishes also play a pivotal role in trauma relief, providing a respite from the relentless medical routines that define their young lives.

Eligibility and Beyond: The Inclusive Approach

Aiming to dispel prevalent misconceptions, Sheri stresses that the organization’s services aren’t confined to terminal conditions. If a child aged between two and a half and their 18th birthday, is diagnosed with a critical illness and hasn’t previously received a wish, they’re eligible. The straightforward criteria underscore the organization’s commitment to inclusivity and wish fulfillment, irrespective of the prognosis.

The Many Hues of Hope: Types of Wishes Granted

From aspiring to be a SWAT team member, dreaming of meeting celebrities, longing for a puppy, to wishing for travel adventures—Make-A-Wish endeavors to turn these diverse wishes into reality. The varied wish categories—To Have, To Be, To Give Back, To Go, To Meet—echo the sheer range of children’s imaginations and desires, each fulfilled dream weaving a patch in the tapestry of positive transformation.

Challenges, Reality, and Adaptations

Operating under the ethos of fiscal responsibility and sustainability, the foundation handles grand wishes with care, ensuring that every decision upholds the organization’s longevity. By encouraging children to conceive three feasible wishes, the foundation navigates the situation with compassion, maintaining the child’s excitement and hope.

The Journey from Wish to Reality

Taking about a year on average, the wish-granting process involves meticulous planning, from initial referral and eligibility confirmation to volunteer involvement and feedback loops post-wish fulfillment. This journey highlights the thoroughness with which wishes are tailored, ensuring that each is a perfect fit for the child’s dreams and medical needs.

Beyond the Wish: Family and Community Transformation

Witnessing wishes come to life brings profound impacts, offering families pockets of normalcy and joy in the fraught terrain of critical illness treatment. According to Sheri, a wish granted is not just a fleeting moment of happiness; it’s a source of everlasting memories and strength for families, engraving heartfelt stories of resilience and community support in their lives.

A Call to Action: How You Can Get Involved

Make-A-Wish Foundation of Greater Virginia thrives on community involvement, necessitating a constant inflow of volunteers, resources, and support. Whether it’s contributing as a volunteer wish granter, participating in the Walk for Wishes, or donating to the cause, there are myriad ways for individuals and corporates to deep-dive into this journey of hope and transformation.

Takeaways and Moving Forward

  1.  Understand The Scope: Realizing the critical work Make-A-Wish does is the first step towards contributing meaningfully.
  2. Every Bit Counts: From volunteering to donations, each contribution helps fulfill a child’s wish.
  3. Wishes Matter: These wishes aren’t just nice-to-haves; they’re crucial milestones that stoke the children’s will to fight and heal.

To support or learn more about the remarkable odyssey of hope powered by Make-A-Wish Foundation of Greater Virginia, visit va.wish.org.

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