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Matt & Sara's Story

Volunteers Matt & SaraMay 2015
City: Rapid City

About Matt and Sara:
Matt: District conservationist for USDA-NRCS, member of the Rapid City Chamber of Commerce Ag Committee and involved with 4-H
Sara: Civil engineer for City of Rapid City
The Oddens enjoy hunting, fishing, running, snow skiing and outdoor activities. They have two children, Noah (5) and Audrey (20 months) and a 9-year-old Aeridale Terrier named Brandy.

Your connection with Make-A-Wish®? In college, Sara became involved with Make-A-Wish through the Chi Omega women’s fraternity at SDSU, of which she was a member.

What made you want to start volunteering for Make-A-Wish?
Matt: I volunteered with Sara at several events and decided to become an official volunteer.
Sara: As the SDSU Chi Omega chapter president, I was able to attend a national convention at which a local California chapter delivered the news to a wish child that her wish to meet Cinderella was going to come true. Seeing the expression on her face when she realized what was happening was something that I will never forget.

How long have you been a volunteers? Matt: Since 2012. Sara: Since 2005.

Why do you volunteer for Make-A-Wish? We volunteer because we have a passion for bringing joy to children and their families at dull times in life.

What is the best part of being involved with Make-A-Wish? Being rewarded for time spent with smiles, hugs, laughter and the remarkable high that comes from having made a difference in the life of a child.

Tell us about a memorable wish experience: Matt: During a recent shopping excursion-watching a wish child’s excitement as he explored the store and debated the tough decisions of which video games he wanted to take home. Sara: At an airport pickup of a wish child and family I had met with for the wish planning, an almost 18 year old young man gave me a giant hug and sincerely thanked me for helping make his wish come true.

If you could encourage someone who is thinking about volunteering for Make-A-Wish, what would you tell them? It’s a satisfying feeling to know that you are helping make someone’s day brighter and happier.

What would your one true wish be?
Matt: To go to Hawaii as a family and go parasailing.
Sara: To travel to Rome to see the Colosseum and other ancient ruins that I spent three years of high school Latin Class learning about.

For more information about volunteer opportunities in your area, please contact Kerry Pollema at 605.335.8000 or

We volunteer because we have a passion for bringing joy to children and their families at dull times in life. ”

— Matt & Sara, Rapid City Wish Granters


Kerry Pollema
Volunteer & Outreach Director
1400 West 17th Street 
Sioux Falls, SD 57104

Phone: 605.335.8000 
Fax: 605.335.8002 

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Make-A-Wish® South Dakota
1400 West 17th Street
Sioux Falls, SD 57104
(605) 335-8000
Toll Free (800) 640-9198
Make-A-Wish® South Dakota, Black Hills Office
14 Saint Joseph St. Suite 302
Rapid City, SD 57701
(605) 791-4500
Toll Free (800) 640-9198