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Wish Blog

Jan 30, 2020

"This is where I need to be."

Ryan Heffernan
As we conclude January, our month of new beginnings, we wanted to introduce you one of the newest members of the Make-A-Wish team here in Metro New York. Ryan Heffernan joined our chapter in November as a Finance Coordinator.

Why were you interested in working for Make-A-Wish?

That’s been my plan since halfway through college. I just realized this is where I need to be.

My family would take a trip every year to Disney World and that was normal to us. In fact, if we didn’t go one year, that would be weird. I really didn't think much about it. But when I was around 12 or 13, I was walking around the parks one day and I saw a kid in a wheelchair wearing a Make-A-Wish pin. And it really hit me. I thought, “This kid wished for this one experience and he’s going through something terrible. I’m completely healthy, all my siblings are healthy, I get to do this every year.” It felt unfair. 

Ever since then, Make-A-Wish has been really important to me. Growing up I would donate when I could but as a kid, it’s never much, $20 here and there. I went to college out in California and I’d fly back and forth a lot so when I got some airline miles, I would donate them. I just tried to do what I could. And then half-way through college I realized this is the only thing that I passionately care about. I want to do as much as I can for them. Working for Make-A-Wish seemed like the right thing to do. It’s what I had to do.

How does your role as a Finance Coordinator support the Make-A-Wish mission?

Whenever families are going on travel wishes they will get a credit card for their expenses. I get the credit cards activated and give them to the wish coordinators who then give them to the wish families. I also create invoices for the wish assist team and send those to the originating chapters for each kid. My role supports the engine that makes the organization run, so to speak. Anything that moves the wish-granting process forward helps wish kids. And that’s amazing.

What is the best part of starting a new job?

The nervous excitement – you don’t really know how it’s going to be and there’s all new faces. For me, it’s seeing the Empire State Building right outside the window. I’m from central New Jersey, a couple of hours away, so just working in midtown Manhattan was exciting and the fact that I’m doing it for the company that I’ve wanted to work at for all these years – I don’t see how it can get better than that.

What else are you passionate about other than Make-A-Wish?

I started playing bass guitar in the third grade. My parents told me if I got straight A's they would buy me a bass. My brother is three years older than me and had just started playing guitar. I got the A's, I got the bass and I’ve been playing ever since. I taught myself guitar as well and ever since middle school I’ve been playing in bands with my brother and friends. That’s the main thing I do whenever I have free time. It’s a blast.

About this Blog

Stories of joy, resilience and healing that can only happen with Make-A-Wish.

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