Since 1980, the Foundation has given hope, strength and joy to children with life-threatening medical conditions. The Foundation aims to reflect the life-changing impact that a Make-A-Wish experience has on children, families, referral sources, donors, sponsors, and entire communities.
Since its humble beginning in granting a little boy’s wish who dreams of becoming a police officer, the Make-a-Wish Foundation has grown into an organization that grants a wish of a child every 40 minutes. The organization has blossomed into a worldwide phenomenon, reaching more than 174,000 children around the world. A network of nearly 25,000 volunteers enables the Make-A-Wish Foundation to serve children with life-threatening medical conditions. Volunteers serve as wish granters, fundraisers, special events assistants and numerous other capacities.
The Foundation offers a volunteer position for every time and talent. Volunteers have a wide variety of options to get involved that match their interests and skills. Volunteer opportunities and availability vary by local chapter. All volunteers are required to complete the volunteer screening process. They must also undergo background check.
Nurses and healthcare workers volunteer their time and talent to help grant a sick child’s wish and turn it to reality. Many trained nurses that have earned their certification through an online nursing degree or through campus education look forward to this type of opportunity outside of their regular working hours.
Volunteer nurses, along with doctors, parents and other healthcare workers, refer eligible patients between 2 1/2 and 18 who have not received a wish from another wish-granting organization. They gather information on the child’s one true wish. Driven by the child’s creativity, they then create an unforgettable experience to enrich the lives of the children and their families, but more often an entire community.
Nurses and doctors as well as other healthcare workers see a lot of benefits in volunteering at Make-A-Wish Foundation. They learn and develop certain skills while teaching others the skills they know. Volunteers also gain work experience; thus, enhancing their resume. Volunteering also creates important network contacts as one meets new people and talk to them about their ambitions, enthusiasm, and care for the community.
One of the nursing organizations who volunteer for the foundation is the Oklahoma Nurses Association (ONA). ONA is a professional organization for all registered nurses in Oklahoma that promotes nursing profession. They help the children with critical medical conditions make their wishes come true. They volunteer, sponsor a wish, and organize special events for the children.
Volunteering also develops the self-confidence and self-esteem of both the patient and the healthcare worker. This helps improve the health situation of the patient. More importantly, volunteers make a big difference in the life of the patients, their families and the community.