Married mother of three boys, 23, 21 and 20. I worked as a nurse for 30+ years and now fill my time with volunteering for multiple organizations. I enjoy traveling and follow our son who plays baseball for SDSU.
Your connection with Make-A-Wish®?
I am a wish granter and an event volunteer. I help each year with the Watertown Make-A-Wish event in November.
How long have you been a volunteer?
I have been a trained volunteer for five years, but have been actively involved for 10 or more years.
Why do you volunteer for Make-A-Wish?
Make-A-Wish is near and dear to my heart. When I was working as a nurse at a local clinic I had the opportunity to be a part of several Make-A-Wish childrens’ medical care. These children stole my heart. I also was able to participate in another child’s care most every day for a year after I was not working at the clinic. Miss Emily taught me so much about life and giving I knew I would continue to be a part of Make-A-Wish for a long time. Volunteering for Make-A-Wish is not work. It is fun. To see the smile on children and their family’s faces when going on a grant visit or presenting them with a wish is love beyond words.
Tell us about a memorable wish experience:
Every wish experience is memorable to me and they are all unique and precious. The joy and excitement on wish children’s faces when they are granted a wish is so memorable. No matter how extensive the wish, they all bring joy. I do believe being able to be part of Nicole’s wish party where she received an iPad® was breathtaking. Nicole was as excited for the party, complete with balloons and cake, and all the special guests, as she was for her wish gifts.
If you could encourage someone who is thinking about volunteering for Make-A-Wish, what would you tell them?
First and foremost, I would encourage anyone to take the time and attend a Make-A-Wish event. There are many throughout the state. I am sure it would only take once to get hooked. Being a Make-A-Wish volunteer has so many opportunities. One can be as involved as time permits for them. The opportunities and rewards are endless. Being a part of Make-A-Wish South Dakota has been one of the most rewarding opportunities I have chosen. There is nothing more rewarding than the smiles on the faces of family when they are granted a wish. Volunteering for Make-A-Wish is far from work. I encourage anyone who has the slightest thought they might want to be involved to make the step. You will never regret you did.
For more information about volunteer opportunities in your area, please contact Kerry Pollema at 605.335.8000 or firstname.lastname@example.org.