Friday, January 3, 2014

January Comments for a Cause - Make-A-Wish

One of my New Year Blogging Goals for 2014 was to start a Comments for a Cause program.  This is a program where I will donate 50 cents for every comment made on my blog to a chosen organization or campaign monthly.  It was very easy to decide which organization would be my first recipient - Make-A-Wish Iowa.


I think what Make-A-Wish does for children with life-threatening conditions is amazing.  The hope, strength and joy these wishes bring to these children and their families is unbelievable.  I have gotten to witness this magical experience first-hand through a couple different ways.

The first way that I got to experience the magic of Make-A-Wish is through my cousin, Jake.  My cousin Jake was diagnosed with a rare bone cancer when he was in high school.  During his battle he had a wish granted to go fishing in Alaska (the photo to the right is of him doing just that!).  He always said that his wish meant so much to him during his last year of life.  And because of that, I knew I needed to get involved, which leads me to my second way of experiencing Make-A-Wish.

Me giving high fives to all of the dive team members
on a cold day with windshields below zero last month
I wanted to help make wishes come true for others after seeing the impact it had on both my cousin Jake, as well as his immediate family and even our extended family.  I have been involved with the North Iowa Make-A-Wish chapter for six years and currently serve as the chapter's vice chair.  I help with wish granting, fundraising and community events.  I even do some pretty crazy things to raise money for Make-A-Wish, like go sky diving (twice) and jump into Clear Lake in December (three times - I have passed on the opportunity when I've been pregnant ).  I started with Make-A-Wish with the sole purpose of granting wishes, but as time has gone on have found that fundraising can be just as rewarding.

There is something special though about giving a Wish family the initial call to let them know they've been approved to have a wish granted.  For those that don't know, there are four types of wishes that can be granted:
  • I wish to go...
  • I wish to have...
  • I wish to meet...
  • I wish to be...
I wish to go is the most popular type of wish, equaling about 70% of wishes.  These are travel wishes, and the most popular destination is Walt Disney World (Walt Disney Company is involved in 40% of all wishes granted), where Wish families stay exclusively at Give Kids the World.  I wish to have is probably the second most popular.  These are commonly shopping sprees, playgrounds or special iPads or equipment to help the Wish child.  I wish to meet is when a Wish child meets their favorite athlete or singer or movie star.  Finally, I wish to be is how Make-A-Wish all started.  In 1980 seven year old Chris Greicius was battling leukemia and all he wanted to be was a police officer.  With some organization and help from the Arizona Department of Public Safety, Chris's wish was granted.  This type of wish has even made the national news lately with Bat Kid in San Francisco:
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In Iowa, a wish is granted every other day.  In the United States, a wish is granted every 38 minutes, and, on average, a child is referred for a wish every 28 minutes.  The average cost for an Iowa wish is $8,600, so get to commenting this month!  Every dollar helps make another wish come true!

20 comments:

  1. Amazing program and I commend your commitment and am proud of all you do!! Keep up the great work with Make-A-Wish and your blog!!

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  2. Great job, Val! Hoping this costs you bunches!!

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  3. Wait, I see the cause now. Definitely a great program. Hope you have a great 2014!

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    1. Thanks Crystal. Hope you have a great 2014 too!

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  4. Val I usually give up on commenting on your blog and just type everything out again on a regular FB post. This is to important to give up on this time. Thank you for supporting Make A Wish. Also thanks for sharing your cousins wish. Now I know why you would do a polar plunge.

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    1. Thanks for commenting! And yes, the Polar Bear Plunge raises money for Make A Wish, but it is also a lot of fun!

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  5. Your Anonymous comment is from Aunt Deb. Derek helped me get this far. I'm not a robot. I have to copy a thing before it posts and accepts I'm not a robot. I'm going to get this figured out so it works from one time to the next. :-)

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    1. Sounds good. Thanks for commenting!

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  6. Great project and such a great cause.

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  7. Yep, I can help Make A Wish raise money from you! I always wonder why anyone would do a polar plunge! Not me! Good luck!

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    1. Great - thanks for commenting. The Polar Bear Plunge is actually a lot of fun and not that cold...

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  8. What a great explanation of what MAke a Wish does and why! I knew a little about it but not all the details and this is a great way to explain to someone what it is all about . Thanks so much for sharing the Comments for a Cause idea and for spreading the awareness of different meaningful charities. i am sharing this post everywhere! :-)

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    1. Thanks Beth Ann for everything. I'm excited to be a part of the program.

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  9. Congratulations for all the good work you do. And a big thank you from those you help.

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  10. What a wonderful job to have--granting wishes! I love this organization and am glad I found your blog through Beth Ann. I am adding your blog to my commenting for causes blog roll so I will remember to visit regularly.

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    1. Thanks for stopping by and commenting. Also, thanks for adding my blog to your blog roll!

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