Q: What does it mean to be a wish alumni?
A: We refer to kids who’ve had a wish fulfilled by Make-A-Wish as our “alumni.” Just like graduates, these kids and their families have taken a journey and often want to stay connected with the organization. They also see a value in being part of a community of people with common experiences that bind them together. We have active alumni members whose wish was granted 35 years ago!
Q: Why is it called Wish It Forward?
A: Wish It Forward is a take on the phrase “pay it forward.” When you pay it forward, you show your gratitude for someone’s kindness to you by being kind to someone else. This is very different than “paying back” because it fosters a cycle of positivity that can make many lives better. With the Wish It Forward program, families can be part of a larger system, contributing to a network and helping other wishes come true.
Q: Why is this program important to families and to the organization?
A: Make-A-Wish is on a quest to grant the wish of every eligible child. Our alumni kids and families often help us share the story of their journey with others who are interested in knowing about the impact of a wish. When people understand that impact, we get closer to our goal of bringing a wish to every eligible child to keep them focused on healing.
Q: How can families stay connected, involved, and focused on making a difference?
A: There are so many ways, but they generally fall in to three categories: telling their story in person at events or through photos and videos; donating and raising funds; and volunteering to work with other families to make their wish come true.
Another way – currently under development - is to become a mentor. An older wish alum mentors a younger wish child, showing them the ropes and how to get the most out of their wish experience. Alumni who have gone through the program are paired with wish kids who have just become eligible for their wish to answer any questions they may have or just have a buddy to talk to. The bond formed through this mentorship program would be invaluable for a wish kid and their families, adding further clarity and excitement to the wish journey.
Q: How do families get started with Wish It Forward?
A: A great place to start and to stay involved with Make-A-Wish is through the Wish Families and Alumni Facebook group. This closed group is only for wish families and alumni and is a great place to find out about events, ways to volunteer, and opportunities for involvement. It’s a great platform for us to engage with families and for them to not only engage with us, but with each other as well, building up that community. On the page, families can share their stories and connect with other families in similar circumstances as their own.
For more information, check out the Wish It Forward on our official website or reach out to Brittany directly at firstname.lastname@example.org