Make-A-Wish to hold training for volunteers

Make-A-Wish to hold training for volunteers

The Make-A-Wish Foundation is hosting training for wish-granting volunteers in Danville on April 16 from 5:30 to 8 p.m. The foundation is especially looking for bilingual volunteers to work with Spanish-speaking wish children.

Wish-granting volunteers work in teams of two and plan and carry out wishes from start to finish with the support of staff from the Make-A-Wish Foundation. They are asked to give up to 12 hours a month to grant at least three wishes per year.

All volunteers must be over 18, must submit an application, reference and background check and must complete an online and brief in-person training to begin granting wishes. Pre-registration is required.

To begin the process, request a volunteer application at http://www.wishes.org or contact Dan White at white@wishes.org or at 312-602-9474 (WISH).

The national Make-A-Wish Foundation dates to 1980; the Illinois chapter has been active since 1985 and has granted more than 10,000 wishes to children in all counties of Illinois.

Children between 2 1/2 and 18 who have a life-threatening medical condition and have not already had a wish granted are eligible for a wish through the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

Referrals come from health care professionals, parents, legal guardians or the children themselves. Children must be referred before their 18th birthday.

After receiving a referral, two trained volunteers visit with the child to learn of his or her wish. The volunteers get acquainted with the family and guide them through the wish process. Make-A-Wish will grant a wish for any child who is deemed medically eligible by their treating physician.

In fiscal year 2011, the Illinois foundation fulfilled 766 wishes, the most ever in chapter history.

Support for the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Illinois comes from individual, corporate and foundation donors. The foundaiton has more than 1,400 volunteers and 40 staff.

The average cost of a wish is about $8,500. This includes in-kind donations of products and services of close to $3,400 per wish and average expenditures of approximately $5,100 per wish. There is no cost to the family in fulfilling a child's wish. Every expense, every phone call, and travel arrangement is taken care of by the foundation.

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