Vol­un­teers in­dis­pens­able to char­ity

Pilbara News - - Opinion - Ger­ard Menses Chief ex­ec­u­tive, Make-A-Wish Aus­tralia

This Na­tional Vol­un­teer Week on be­half of Make-A-Wish Aus­tralia I’d like to say a heart­felt thank you to our in­valu­able Kar­ratha vol­un­teers.

Since 1985 our vol­un­teers, who hail from 57 dif­fer­ent branches, have made more than 8500 wishes come true for se­ri­ously ill chil­dren and teenagers all over the coun­try.

Our 95 vol­un­teers across re­gional and met­ro­pol­i­tan WA are the first ones to meet with a child to un­lock their em­pow­er­ing wish; they then sup­port wish fam­i­lies on their jour­ney (which can be up to two years), share our sto­ries, and hold events to raise much-needed funds.

This year we cel­e­brate 37 years of Make-A-Wish, and over these years — through re­search and feed­back from our wish fam­i­lies — we have evolved what we do.

Our vol­un­teers do much more than grant a child’s wish. Rather, they help de­liver a pow­er­ful psy­cho­log­i­cal in­ter­ven­tion, which is a crit­i­cal com­ple­ment to the med­i­cal process and vi­tal for the child to suc­ceed in their fight against se­ri­ous ill­ness. Our vol­un­teers truly change lives.

From the mo­ment a child starts think­ing about their wish, the power of their imag­i­na­tion is un­locked. In­stead of think­ing about their ill­ness and what they can’t do, they think about what they can do, and sud­denly any­thing be­comes pos­si­ble. They gain hope. They grow in re­silience and feel stronger as they progress through their care­fully crafted wish jour­ney.

Ex­pe­ri­enc­ing the im­pos­si­ble be­com­ing pos­si­ble helps a child be­lieve, even when very sick, that they can re­gain their strength and ex­pe­ri­ence a pos­i­tive fu­ture.

Par­ents of­ten tell us that the wish was the turn­ing point dur­ing their child’s treat­ment.

None of this vi­tal work would be pos­si­ble with­out our in­cred­i­ble vol­un­teers – they are the back­bone of Make-A-Wish. As an or­gan­i­sa­tion funded by solely by do­na­tions, with no gov­ern­ment fund­ing, we rely on the sup­port of the com­mu­nity.

So this week we say thank you to our vol­un­teers. Thank you for be­ing a source of strength for re­ally sick kids, and thank you for mak­ing the im­pos­si­ble pos­si­ble.

Make-A-Wish vol­un­teers and helpers Re­becca Du­crow, Shel­ley Budd, Heather Faibey and Wendy Mills.

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