Today's Wish Day celebrations will raise money to grant wishes to children with life-threatening illnesses.By Monique Freer
In celebration of Make-A-Wish Australia’s annual Wish Day today, Ensign journalist Monique Freer reflects on her time as a volunteer for the organisation.
‘‘My involvement with Make-A-Wish Australia was unique, inspiring and at times confronting. The international organisation grants wishes to children with life-threatening illnesses, and as a volunteer I had the privilege of being able to meet these children and grant them their most cherished wish.
‘‘These children were at different stages in their battle with their respective conditions, and wishes often had to be tailored around their physical capabilities. But no matter the background or health of the child, there was truly nothing more rewarding than seeing their faces lit up with joy when they were presented with their wish.
‘‘My first wish was approximately six months after I joined the Make-A-Wish Foundation, in which I was sent hot-footing down to Carrum, Melbourne to meet a six-year-old boy whose wish was to go to Queensland. Not to see the dolphins or to ride on rollercoasters. No, this young man wanted to go to the Gold Coast so he could have slime poured on his head.
‘‘Not only was his wish granted, but in presenting the wish to him, we decided that he, his older brother and his parents deserved a little something special.
‘‘Passionate about cranes, we organised for him to be picked up by a crane and driven to the machine yard in the crane with his very own special walkie talkie to keep his parents updated on the trip the whole way.
‘‘An hour later and I’m fairly sure his parents were regretting that decision. He was taught to drive cranes, he got to sit in them, watch them drive and head out on the roads in a variety of trucks. For him and his older brother, this was a dream come true in itself.
‘‘But it didn’t end there. We took them back to the Beaumaris Yacht Squadron and treated them to a special lunch and a boat ride on the bay.
‘‘This young boy had told us during the home visit that he liked fishing; the truth was he had actually never done it — but he was presented with his own fishing rod and a lifetime membership at the Yacht Squadron.
‘‘Tired from a big day out, we then took the family home and finally presented his wish to him.
‘‘The joy on his face was worth every ounce of time and effort that we had put in.’’
Wish Day is the organisation’s annual fundraising event, which helps raise funds to be able to grant these wishes to children who have already faced challenges that many of us have never had to.
This year’s Wish Day theme is wear what you wish, so dress up or dress down and support the work of this amazing charity.
To learn more about how you can support Wish Day or become a volunteer, visit www.makeawish.org.au/wishday
Read more in this week’s Ensign.
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