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Words from Our Volunteers

Volunteer Stars

We asked each volunteer about their work with our organization and why they are so dedicated. Read their stories and learn more about how you can get involved with granting wishes through a variety of options.

Russ Fontaine, Volunteer since 2013
Wish-Granting Volunteer, Wish Ambassador and Event Volunteer

What is your favorite part about granting wishes?
My favorite part is the first call to the family. I love the whole experience, but in that call you can hear the relief, or excitement, of a good phone call. The child and family have been through a lot, so it gives them hope and happiness knowing that the wish process has started. I love all of it, but it starts with the call.

If you could receive a wish, what would it be?
I would do the obvious and wish that everyone was healthy and that we did not have to do this, but I am sure all the families have already wished for that. I wish that the staff of Make-A-Wish all get one wish because they are incredible, hard-working people. What goes on behind the scenes is incredible and we don’t get to see that.

What would you say to motivate others to become wish-granting volunteers?
I would share my experiences and if they still need motivation then they might not be the right fit. The benefits of helping a family with a sick child is extremely rewarding and humbling. It puts everything in life in perspective. When I became a wish-granter I did not know what to expect, but it has been one of the greatest experiences of my life. I have told people even if you only have a few hours a month, pick an event and volunteer for Make-A-Wish. It is rewarding, exciting and all for a great cause.

Doug Young, Volunteer since 1996
Wish-Granting Volunteer and Wish Ambassador

What is your favorite part about granting wishes?
Two parts: 1) The look on a kid’s face when you have the wish party and they realize their wish is going to come true; and 2) the dozens of fantastic wish granters I’ve met. All the wish granters I’ve met are just great people.

What excites or inspires you most about being a Wish Granter?
The kids and their parents. Each family is undergoing a tremendously difficult experience, and the grace and strength of every parent really is amazing, and I hope I could have that same strength if I was in that situation.

What has been one of your favorite wish types to assist with?
I always like the trips because Make-A-Wish adds so many small touches (like the limo ride to the airport) that gives the wish kids unforgettable memories.

Gloria Campbell, Volunteer since 2003
Event Volunteer

What has been your favorite event?  
I love all the events but the best one for me that I feel was a blessing was when I helped with Sterling’s wish to be president for the day.  I worked closely to get this one done and rode along with president Sterling to complete his day.

If you could receive a wish, what would it be?  
To become a millionaire so I could grant wishes, but really I would love to become a wish granter when I retire or a spokesperson to draw others into giving and helping.

What would you say to others to encourage them to become involved with Make-A-Wish?
I would let them know I have seen wishes granted and the faces of those receiving wishes.  Just knowing that your time is making someone feel special is a life-changing experience.

I am proud to be able to be a part of a group that is proactive in helping to bring joy into the lives of these great kids. ”

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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