make a wish … an affair of the heart

i have been thinking about volunteering for a long time. it had to be something that didn’t cost a lot of any money, because we all know i’m pretty much broke most of the time. also, i couldn’t imagine doing something with animals. while i LOVE them, i just know i couldn’t handle walking them for a shelter or anything like that ’cause i’d end up wanting to take all of them home. i also thought about reading/studying with kids or maybe grocery shopping/hanging out/entertaining older people. problem is, i don’t feel comfortable commiting to something at a set time, on a set day every week. might be selfish but i just don’t feel comfortable doing that and then possibly end up letting someone down because my own life/schedule might “get in the way”. while that may sound selfish at first, it really just means that when i commit to something i wanna be commited and rather not start anything i don’t know i can stick with.

like i’m sure most of you have, i had heard about the make-a-wish foundation in the US before. it is the largest wish-granting organization in the world for children with a life-threatening medical condition. what i didn’t know (or think about) was that there might be one in germany as well. i had simply never thought about it and/or looked into it. then came joanna’s birthday party = her make-a-wish story. i’ve “known” joanna and her family for a few years through a forum/facebook/emails and had been anxiously following her story since 2009. seeing her get better and better and then, right before her second surgery, experience this magical day really made an impact. i started researching more, forgot about it again, was reminded again and – since i was feeling so much better myself – finally felt ready to commit a few months ago.

i applied, got an email a few weeks later, did a phone-interview, had to fill out some paperwork, get a background-check… and then this past saturday went to hamburg for a seminar. it was a great day. which is especially interesting because i a) had slept like sh*t the night before, b) had to get up at 7 am in the morning and c) had a bad headache (day three) when i woke up and started my day with 1.200 mg of ibuprofen… but i digress. the drive to hamburg was smooth (i’m SO in love with “oscar” and love to go on road-trips with him) and by the time i got there the headache was gone and i was ready to find out more.

while “the make-a-wish foundation of america” has been around for decades and is a huge operation with 65 so-called chapters all over the united states, “make-a-wish germany” has only been around for a few years. since 2008 to be exact. founded by two energetic and amazing couples who spent unbelieveable amounts of time and energy to make “make-a-wish germany” what it is today, only three years after they started: a serious non-profit organization. they did all of that in an extremely short amount of time. and they’re certainly not done. “make-a-wish germany” is part of make-a-wish international which has over 36 affiliates who grant wishes to children with a life-threatening medical condition in those countries outside the US. meaning, the volunteers not only help make dreams come true for children in germany but also “assist” in making wishes come true for children (almost) all over the world.

i’m not gonna get more into detail or throw more numbers and info at you (at this point) but kindly ask you to consider reading more about “make-a-wish” germany (in german), international and/or america. “make-a-wish” germany is a non-profit organization completely running on donations from private and corporate sponsors. the only way to keep making magic happen and dreams come true is through time and determination from volunteers, networking and donations. so if you have just a little extra money, maybe not buy the 5,- magazin this month or not get the 5,- coffee today but instead consider donating to “make-a-wish” germany. i’m telling you, there’s (almost) nothing better than the magic that is making a wish come true for a child who has been through so much. if you can/want to donate less than 10 euros (which for technical reasons is the minimum on the german page) or would rather use paypal to donate, please use the “donate” button in the left sidebar and let me know in the “purpose” field that this is for make-a-wish. i will make sure to get the donation(s) to them.

another way to help is to simply spread the word.
“like” make a wish germany on facebook, tweet about it, blog about it, tell your friends/family/colleagues about it… every tiny efford helps. if you would like more information about how to sponsor a certain wish, if you know someone (who knows someone…) in a big company who you think might be interested in sponsoring make-a-wish germany (an airline, anyone? someone who’d donate t-shirts for all the volunteers in germany? ….) or would like to know more about volunteering or referring a child, please get in touch with me any time.

this past saturday in hamburg the infectious enthusiasm of the other volunteers and everything i heard, read and saw made it absolutely crystal clear to me that this is “my” organization. i cannot wait (!) for my first chance to help make magic happen and a wish come true.

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