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Commonly Asked Questions

Learn more about our volunteer program.

What are the benefits of volunteering with Make-A-Wish®?

Whatever volunteer position you assume at Make-A-Wish, you will know that your work helps to transform the lives of children with critical illnesses. You will meet and work with our dedicated staff and volunteers in a supportive and challenging atmosphere.

What is the time commitment expected of volunteers?

Volunteer commitments vary, depending on the volunteer role you decide to pursue. We make every effort to match your availability and level of commitment with the needs of your volunteer assignment. As a Make-A-Wish Volunteer, you are given the important task of making a child’s wish come true. It is important work; and we expect a high level of commitment and professionalism from all our volunteers. In return, Make-A-Wish makes a commitment to you: We promise to provide quality training and the support and resources needed to do the work entrusted to you.
What do volunteers do?

Our wish-granting volunteers work directly with children and families to grant wishes. Wish Assist Volunteers greet and assist out-of-town families whose child’s wish brings them to the Washington, DC area. Other areas in which volunteers help with our mission include: Interpreters, Wish Ambassadors, Special Events and other fundraising coordination, and administrative assistance to our office staff. 

What is a Wish-Granting Volunteer?

Wish granters work in teams of two to facilitate the details of granting a child's wish. They have the highest level of involvement with children and their families by working directly with children to discover and plan wishes, and work creatively to seek in-kind goods and services to implement the wish. The nature of each child's wish determines the level of volunteer involvement. Wish Volunteers must be at least 18 years old. As a new volunteer, you will receive training and be mentored by an experienced volunteer to ensure that you are knowledgeable and comfortable in meeting and talking with the children and their families. Please note that the wish granter role requires the following:
  • Long-term commitment (minimum of two years).
  • Administrative and technical focus with paperwork completion and electronic submission
  • Constant, timely communication with staff, families and volunteer partners (email and phone)
  • Comfort in in-kind donation solicitation
How do I become a volunteer?

We are delighted that you want to join us in our mission of granting wishes to children in the Mid-Atlantic area! Here is the process for becoming a volunteer with us:

1. Complete and send in your Volunteer Application and two references and submit by:
  • email:
  • mail: 6555 Rock Spring Drive, Suite 280, Bethesda, MD 20817 - Attn: Volunteer Specialist
  • or fax: 301-656-2857

2. The Mission Delivery team will evaluate all applications and will be in touch in the coming weeks with next steps. Please note for wish granter applicants, 2 Reference Forms may be requested.
3. The Volunteer Specialist will contact you for any outstanding application details including, but not limited to, phone interview, additional application requirements, etc.  
4. Apply for your background check (cost is approximately $30), if applicable.
5. For prospective Wish Granters: participate in a specialized training session for your role.

For more information, please email or call 301.962.9474.

Why do you need to know my background?

Since we work closely with children, Make-A-Wish conducts a thorough background check on all volunteer applicants. Make-A-Wish shall not employ or utilize as a volunteer any individual who has been convicted of a crime that (a) victimizes children, (b) is sexual in nature, or (c) involves violence, fraud, or significant theft. Information received from these reports will remain confidential and be used only for screening and placement purposes. 

I have a question not addressed here.  Who can I contact?

We’re so glad you asked! If you have additional questions, please contact us by emailing or calling 301.962.9474 and we will be happy to assist you.

This experience reaffirmed something that I knew intellectually, but somehow along the way had forgotten to really appreciate. Whether one is going through an illness or some other personal challenges, doing something to help another human being puts your problems into perspective and reminds you that there is always hope. ”

— Mike, Volunteer

Volunteering is a great way to help!

You can help make wishes come true!

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Make-A-Wish® Mid-Atlantic, Inc.
6555 Rock Spring Drive
Suite 280
Bethesda, MD 20817
(301) 962-9474
After Hours Nightline (301) 962-9474