By Natasha Falter, Intern
It’s hard for me to admit and especially difficult for me to write, but Friday is my last day at Make-A-Wish Central New York. Interning for the organization was an incredible experience I will never forget.
Going into any internship can be intimidating. Looking back, I can’t believe how much time I spent trying on different outfits before my interview. When I thought of Make-A-Wish I put the employees on a pedestal. How could they ever see me as worthy enough to join their team? Now that I’ve spent enough time with the team I’ve come to find that the truth is that the people involved with Make-A-Wish are truly miracle workers that are still on a pedestal in my mind. It’s not only the employees, but the board members, volunteers, donors and us interns. We’re all just people, but when we become involved in something so meaningful we become something much bigger than ourselves.
This past Fall I was fortunate enough to work under Christine. She is someone that has greatly impacted my life, she has and has taught me essential skills along with the importance of being passionate about your work (Thank you so much Christine!). As director of development, Christine works closely with the Young Professional Advisory Council (YPAC). This is a group of young professionals that assists the Board, Executive Director, and Staff by acting as ambassadors for Make-A-Wish through fundraising, promotion, networking, volunteering, and general advocacy of the Make-A-Wish mission. I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to work with the members on the annual roaring twenties themed Speakeasy event. The fundraiser was held at the Empire Brewery this past Tuesday.
When I arrived I was greeted by two friendly volunteers that offered raffle tickets and explained how to use my ”wish chips” at the Blackjack table and Roulette Wheel for a chance to win the booze bucket! Everyone at the event was inviting and friendly. I brought my camera and attempted to capture all of the terrific moments. It was great to see how involved the staff of Empire was involved. One of the bartenders was wearing a fedora, another had a long sparkly dress. The Blackjack dealer, Brett, who kindly volunteered his time for the duration of the event, was presented with this opportunity by a friend that worked at Empire. He told me that when he heard it was for Make-A-Wish he was more than willing to contribute. The event was a great opportunity to interact with other people involved in the organization that wanted to contribute to the cause. While I was sitting at the Blackjack table former Intern Alex introduced herself to me. She explained how she fell in love with Make-A-Wish and how she continues to be involved through YPAC by being a large part of events such as the Speakeasy.
Although Friday is my official last day as an intern at Make-A-Wish I will always find ways to be involved. In the future I’d like to become a member of YPAC. If I’ve taken anything from my with the organization, it’s that being involved with Make-A-Wish is truly a magical experience. Whether it’s as an employee, intern, volunteer, YPAC member or simply an event guest. It’s a way to give back to the community, to contribute to the Make-A-Wish mission: To grant wishes to children with life-threatening medical conditions to enrich the human experience with hope, strength and joy.