25 years of wish granting: Celebrating Debbie Bender and Marilyn Sanson

Twenty-five years ago, Make-A-Wish Central New York wish-granting volunteers Marilyn Sanson and Deborah “Debbie” Bender, became involved with the organization after their sons embarked on a cross country adventure of a lifetime. Debbie and Marilyn’s sons biked more than 3,000 miles from Seattle to Syracuse to raise funds for Make-A-Wish Central New York. 12376008_1088847357821961_6668541564263758513_n[1]Upon their sons’ return to Syracuse, Debbie and Marilyn, otherwise known as the “dynamic duo,” began volunteering as wish granters and have since granted wishes for more than 113 children  throughout the 15 counties served by Make-A-Wish Central New York. Their exemplary work ethic has inspired practices and policies in use today for volunteer training and to ensure each wish is as unique as the children who make them. Continue reading

I Sprinkle Happy

By Cheryllyn Tallman, Wish Granter
Pic of CheryllynSee the picture I’m holding in this photo? That’s what I do. And I love it!
I began my journey with Make-A-Wish in 2010. Initially I traveled to the office in Syracuse (home to Make-A-Wish Central New York) to volunteer as an office helper. My idea was to find out what these folks were all about and if they were truly sincere about their mission. What is their mission you ask?
“We grant the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions to enrich the human experience with hope, strength and joy.” Continue reading

The Most Rewarding Experience You’ll Ever Have

By Benny Fairchild, Wish Granter

As a former newspaper reporter and current Make-A Wish® volunteer, I always did my best to make sure my colleagues accurately detailed the mission of Make-A-Wish® when writing about the foundation, wish families or Make-A-Wish® events.

1234431_10200483539839037_2052768684_n

As a volunteer I’ve often encountered people saying, “Isn’t it depressing to work with dying children?” The answer I always give is something to the effect of, “It’s anything but. It is the most rewarding thing you could ever do.”

Defeating the misperception that Wish Kids are on their deathbeds may be tough, but I always refer back to our actual mission statement: “We grant the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions to enrich the human experience with hope, strength and joy” with the key words obviously being “life-threatening medical conditions.” Continue reading

The Art of Wish Granting

By Terry Baum, Wish Granter

My name is Terry Baum and I am a wish granter with Make-A-Wish Central New York.  Recently I completed my 33rd wish. These wishes have brought joy to not only me but also to the 33 children and their families over the past eleven years.

DSC04148I became a wish granter for many reasons but a couple still stand out in my mind today.  My nephew was granted a wish in 2002 after being diagnosed with a life-altering condition.  After he and his family returned home from their trip to Disney World my sisters and I became wish granters.  You could say we felt the need to “pay it forward.”   Another reason I joined Make-A-Wish Central New York was because I missed my connection with children after being an educator for 27 years.   I knew if I became a wish granter I would be able to reconnect with many children of various ages!   I have never regretted this decision. Continue reading