Return to mobile version

The Science and Success of Wishes

Volunteering: Mind the Gap

Volunteering: Mind the Gap
When a child receives a wish, there is an army of effort behind each one. Wishes all start with referrals. Referrals can come from members of children’s medical teams, children’s families, or even the children themselves. Once each child qualifies for a wish, a team of volunteers takes over. Make-A-Wish volunteers make each wish possible, but there is a gap between how many eligible children are waiting for their wishes to be granted, and the number of volunteers available to make them happen.
Wish granters like Jayne Roberman, a wish mom and a social worker who has been an integral part of the wish-granting process for over a decade, illustrate the dedication seen throughout the organization. After her son was a recipient of a wish in 2005, Jayne wanted to give back to the organization and signed up as a wish granter.  “Once you grant that first wish it’s contagious,” Roberman said, recalling her first experiences as a wish-granting volunteer. “At the beginning it was very exciting for me because I had only witnessed the wish process from the opposite end. When volunteers came to my house for my son’s wish, it was so exciting for him to begin to dream. It’s been amazing to be able to fulfill that on the other side and become part of another child’s journey from living with a serious illness to reaching a place of hope.” Roberman has since granted over 15 wishes.

Numbers from the Metro New York chapter of Make-A-Wish show an interesting distributional picture. Currently, there are 985 children who are in the wish-granting process, but only 535 hardworking active volunteers are available to make these wishes come true.  Moreover, because wish-granting volunteers work in teams of two, the gap is actually wider than simple numbers indicate. Clearly, there are distinct imbalances between wishes that could be granted in each region and the number of active volunteers within the community who are able to grant them. 

Metro New York Chapter Volunteerism Gap At-A-Glance: 

• Brooklyn - 303 possible wishes - 88 volunteers 
• The Bronx - 187 possible wishes - 22 volunteers
• Queens - 196  possible wishes - 69 volunteers
• Staten Island - 47  possible wishes - 11 volunteers
• Manhattan - 133 possible wishes - 237 volunteers 
• Nassau - 119  possible wishes - 108 volunteers 

As knowledge of Make-A-Wish spreads throughout the community, more eligible children are being referred. In order to ensure that each one of these children gets to experience the life-changing impact of a wish, more volunteers from the community are needed. 

Volunteers like Jayne are the backbone of Make-A-Wish because they do literally grant the wishes! Volunteer needs vary by chapter, and there are opportunities in every community. Last year, Make-A-Wish granted 14,000 wishes throughout the US, with volunteers spending an average of 12 hours on each wish — a total of 336,000 hours of volunteer work. 

If you’d like to help Make-A-Wish Metro New York reach its goal of granting a wish to every eligible child, click here.  


About this Blog

Follow my stories to learn about the wish process through scientific, medical, and physiological research, and through the experiences of and personal interviews with wish kids, their families, volunteers and medical professionals to understand the impact of a wish in real terms. Twice a month I hope to shine some light into the wish process and the ripple effect it has on millions of people’s lives.

“Hope lays the foundation of what it means to be human, and wishes are the building blocks.”

Join the conversation

Leave a Comment
Make-A-Wish® Metro New York and Western New York
1111 Marcus Avenue
Suite LL22
Lake Success, NY 11042
(516) 944-6212
Toll Free Emergency Only (888) 869-9474
Make-A-Wish® Metro New York and Western New York, Manhattan Office
200 Park Avenue
17th Floor
New York, NY 10166
(212) 957-9474

Make-A-Wish® Western New York
4600 Main Street
Suite 101
Snyder, NY 14226
(716) 810-9474
Toll Free (888) 336-9474
Make-A-Wish® Western New York, Rochester Regional Office
3025 Monroe Avenue
Suite 200
Rochester, NY 14618
(585) 272-9474
Toll Free (888) 336-9474