Children are referred to Make-A-Wish® by doctors, nurses, social workers, family, school personnel, etc. Once a wish child is medically qualified by a physician, a team of volunteers who are trained as wish granters, are assigned to fulfill the wish. The volunteer team interviews the family and completes the necessary paperwork to begin the wish process. Training is required (usually one evening for 2 hours at our office.) (Time commitment: 4 – 6 hr. per month minimum.)
Kids For Wish Kids®
One of our major ongoing commitments is the Kids for Wish Kids program. Schools and youth organizations (religious groups, scouting, etc.) throughout Suffolk County involve their children in community service and awareness events. Volunteers will assist our Kids for Wish Kids Coordinators to establish contact with new schools and youth groups and solidify existing relationships in the program. This position involves public speaking to groups of children and requires the flexibility to visit schools during daytime hours, and possibly speak to student/youth groups during evening or weekend hours. (Time commitment: 2 hours per month to as many as you can!)
Wish Kids Activities
Throughout the year, our Make-A-Wish “Wish Kids” coordinator arranges several special events for our wish families. Volunteers are needed to assist guests and help out during the event itself. Examples are a special day at Splish Splash, Halloween Party, Holiday Party, etc. (Time commitment: 4 hrs. per month, usually an evening or weekend day.)
Make-A-Wish representation is requested all year long at various types of events, which helps increase community awareness. Some are Make-A-Wish sponsored fundraisers (such as our Angel Program) and others are community events or external fundraising events that we are invited to attend. A team of two volunteers is generally needed to sit at a table to answer questions and distribute Make-A-Wish brochures. Outreach also includes visiting specialized schools, local hospitals and other organizations or support groups that may be able to assist in referring children with life-threatening medical conditions.
Holiday Angel Program
Volunteers are needed to sign up for a 2-2½ hour shift at either the Smithaven or Walt Whitman Mall for 10 days in December to help sell our Holiday Decorations created by our local wish kids. (Time commitment: 2-2 ½ hour shifts in early December.)
If you have public speaking ability or would like to gain experience in this area, welcome to the Speakers Bureau Committee! Committee members are asked to accept at least one speaking engagement per month, usually at an external fundraiser or monthly civic organization meeting. Speakers are also required to obtain their own engagements through personal networking efforts. The purpose of the Speakers Bureau is to inform the public of the Make-A-Wish mission, which will increase referrals, raise funds and recruit volunteers, etc. Training is provided and meetings are held where speaking engagements are assigned, ideas are shared, and members can practice. (Time commitment: Approx. 4 – 6 hrs. per month.)
Bouquet of Wishes Fundraising Committee
Volunteers are required to solicit company sponsorships and auction items for the night of the dinner. They are also needed to work the night of the dinner (to register guests or sell raffle tickets.) They must also attend committee meetings from January – May. The committee usually meets on the second Tuesday of the month, but twice a month in April and May. (Time commitment: 10-15 hrs. per month, from Jan – May.)
Holiday Party Committee
Volunteers are needed to solicit toys and gifts for wish children and their families. (Each wish child receives a special gift, selected just for him or her.) Especially helpful are volunteers with corporate or community contacts to organize toy drives. On the day of the event (usually a Saturday in early December) committee members help in a variety of ways from registering guests to handing out gifts and prizes. This committee meets one Wednesday per month from September to December. (Time commitment: 4 – 8 hrs. per month from September to December.)
Golf Tournament Committee
Volunteers are required to solicit company or individual sponsorships, raffle and auction items for the night of the dinner. Volunteers are needed to work the day and night of the event as well as invite golfers to the tournament. The committee usually meets once a month from June – September. (Time commitment: 8-10 hrs. per month from June – October.)
East End Committee
Volunteers are needed to participate at various East End events, such as the Sunflower Sale at Pindar Vineyards, Riverhead Street Festival and others On the day of the event, committee members help in a variety of ways from registering guests to handing out Make-A-Wish literature and items. Especially helpful are volunteers with corporate or community contacts to help sponsor these events as well as assist in the outreach to grant wishes to children on the East End.
Volunteers are needed on an “on-call” basis, Monday through Thursday from 9 to 5, and Friday from 9 to 4. Volunteers will assist with various responsibilities such as, assisting with mailing and small office projects.