Make-A-Wish group seeking volunteers
If you go
What: Make-A-Wish Wisconsin volunteer and wish granter training
When: 5 to 8 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 13.
Where: Rock County Job Center, 1900 Center Ave., Janesville.
RSVP: To Make-A-Wish Volunteer Manager Nicole Wagner via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 262-781-4445.
JANESVILLE Anna Vierck has been helping make dreams come true since 2009.
That's when she first became a Make-A-Wish Wisconsin volunteer wish granter. Since then, she's worked on 12 wishes, including seven that already have been granted.
"The others are still in process or have not been able to be completed for various reasons," said Vierck of Janesville.
Make-A-Wish Wisconsin grants the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions to enrich the human experience with hope, strength and joy, said Nicole Wagner, volunteer manager for the Wisconsin branch of the national Make-A-Wish Foundation.
Since the Wisconsin chapter of Make-A-Wish was founded in 1984, nearly 4,600 families statewide have been served, Wagner said. Last year, the chapter granted a record-breaking 325 wishes, and more than 250 state children are now in the process of having special wishes granted.
"Wishes are a special type of medicine that give children a break from doctors' visits, hospital stays and treatments, plus provide them something positive to look forward to," Wagner said.
But the special memories aren't just for those who have wishes granted. Wish granters take something special away, as well.
Take Vierck, for example. Among her most memorable experiences is helping an 8-year-old girl go on a shopping spree in Gurnee, Ill., and helping organize a party for a 17-year-old and his father after the two completed the teen's dream of restoring an old car together.
Now, Make-A-Wish Wisconsin wants to share those moments with more people. The organization is in need of volunteer wish-granters in Rock, Walworth and Green counties, and it's encouraging residents in those areas to attend a volunteer training session Tuesday, Nov. 13, at the Rock County Job Center, 1900 Center Ave.
The free, three-hour training session is required to become a Make-A-Wish volunteer.
Wagner said those who attend learn about the foundation, about volunteers' roles and about what it takes to be a wish granter.
She's hoping at least 20 people attend. As of Wednesday, only two had signed up.
"There's no cost or need to bring anything," she said.
"Every wish requires two wish granters, and in these three counties we have more wishes than we have the ability to put wish granters on," she said.