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 firstname.lastname@example.org.