Blog

Callie’s Wish

Callie, age 4 with Wilms Tumor wished to meet her favorite princesses, Anna and Elsa, from the Disney® movie Frozen.  Her wish came true in March and not only did Callie and her sister meet Anna and Elsa in Walt Disney World®, Florida, they had a private visit with plenty of time to dance, sing and laugh together.

IMG_0518MAW

“Our girls blossomed.  We enjoyed all of the magic at the happiest place on earth – exploring the Magic Kingdom, Epcot and SeaWorld.

We spent a week at Give Kids the World Village (GKTW) where ice cream for breakfast, endless rides on the carousel and bedtime tuck-ins from the Village mascot (Miss Mary) were experiences the girls hadn’t even thought to dream of, but now can’t stop talking about.

This trip was truly magical for our family.  It was an escape from the realities of cancer and financial stress, and a chance to just be normal.  Although we will hold our breath through many more scans in the future, we hope that our daughters never have to understand the word relapse.  We will strive to live in the present and take time to laugh, appreciate life and pay it forward.  This trip helped all of us to do that.

We have been so scared to take Callie’s training wheels off of her bike, and so has she.  She is still breakable in our minds, and she always will be.  But as soon as we got home, we took them off.  Callie was very hesitant, but was finally willing to try.  It didn’t take long before she told us to let go, and rode away without looking back.  It was so symbolic of the release of stress and the newfound confidence made possible by our Make-A-Wish trip.

Thank you so very, very much for blessing our family with this once-in-a-lifetime trip.  We will cherish the memories forever.”

– The Howell Family

Thanks go to SPFK (Slo-Pitch for Kids) for adopting Callie’s Wish!


Ross’ top 10 reasons to register for Rope for Hope!

  1. You could win Return Flights for 2 anywhere West Jet flies!
  2. You will get to look down at your friends from a whole new height!
  3. You will help Make-A-Wish say ‘yes’ to magical wishes for special kids.
  4. You will face your fears!
  5. You’ll get invited to the amazing after party & celebrate!
  6. You’ll get to see what you look like in a harness!
  7. Great SWAG bag for all participants
  8.  A chance to win more incentive prizes (SONY TV, Go-Pros)
  9. You will be rappelling down the tallest building of Rope For Hope events across all 8 Canadian cities participating. Of course BC is bigger!
  10. It’s going to be a party!

Register today!

R4H_Promo

 


Ross’ Blog

I just read a beautiful thank you note from a wish mom thanking us for granting her daughter’s magical wish and all the joy it brought their family. These mean the world to us at Make-A-Wish.

In it, she spoke of how they will hold their breaths through every scan to come and that she hopes that they will never experience the word – relapse.  These are feelings that resonated with me and I nodded knowingly as I read this paragraph.

Two+ years post all the chemo and hair loss; operations and daily ‘pokes’, you actually get to forget about cancer for almost two months at a time. When friends ask me how I’m doing I usually reply about work or my tennis game and I don’t even consider my ‘counts’ or scan results. For about two months – that is. Until I receive the notice in the mail from the cancer agency with my scheduled appointment for my next blood work, scans and x-rays and then it all comes back. Oh yah – I was sick. Oh yes – I did have cancer. Oh yah . . . .

And yes, we do hold our breaths every couple of months as we are reminded of all that we went through. It used to bring on total stress and sleepless nights of worry and I’m sure that this will never completely fade, but now, two years later, it is also a reminder to enjoy every day and climb my mountains and walk my beaches and to tell people in my life that I love them. And just like when I first learned how to swim – holding your breath gets a bit easier over time.

- Ross, CEO, Make-A-Wish BC & Yukon - 

 


Rob’s Blog – Becoming A Monthly Donor

So, there you were…the end of February and you knew you wanted or needed to make some donations to some great causes but you just hadn’t gotten around to it.  The tax deadline snuck up on you or you just procrastinated.  How many times has this scenario played out for you?

calendar

If you have found an organization that speaks to your heart, you believe in the mission and their commitment, make it easy and commit to their monthly donor program.  Never have to make another decision on whether or not to give.  It’s good for you and is also good for us here at Make-A-Wish for the following reasons:

  1.  Convenience – it’s easier to manage your personal finances and you don’t have to remind yourself at the end of the year amidst all the other things you have to do at that time.
  2. Efficiency – it reduces our administrative expenses which allows your donation to serve more of our mission.  It’s also a steady and predictable source of revenue for Make-A-Wish which is great for budget stability…..And no big decisions to make at tax time.
  3. Connection – we know our monthly donors better, allowing us to build better relationships.  It also makes you feel good for donating to a worthy cause!
  4. Flexibility – you can change the amount of your donation at any time with a simple phone call or email.  Donating monthly makes it easier to increase the size of your annual gift by making smaller monthly amounts that you barely notice.

If you are considering joining our MONTHLY STARS GIVING program all you need to do is give us a call at our office or fill in the information on our website.  We accept both credit card and direct debit (from your chequing or savings account).

There is a benefit to our organization for using direct debit.  It has a lower cost to performing the transactions and no expiration dates or stolen/fraudulent cards to deal with.

- Robert Duncan, Donor Relations and Administration


Social Media Bootcamp – Nancy’s Top 5!

Put on by the Socialized Communications Team, Social Media Bootcamp is for all of us who want to keep up with the latest trends on social media’s biggest platforms, learn how to build out a social media plan, tips & strategies on managing the process and why you need to build a social media plan now.

Great day, with great information (I’m already looking forward to the next camp!) Here are my top 5 camp take-aways:

  • Social Media knowledge & literacy & knowledge – it’s still about people & building relationships; you can’t build a plan without a map
  • Integrated Strategy – combining  social media, mobile marketing, tradition media & selling is absolutely vital to the success of your organization
  • Engagement – Start Connecting!  Be authentic, consistent and fearless in your contribution to community
  • Be a Thought Leader – listen & understand the market & engage in great conversations & content
  • Whether you are an entrepreneur or leading an organization, social media has to be part of all critical business activities

social-media-logos

 Special thanks to Shane Gibson, AJ Caridi & Mitchy Ballen for including Make-A-Wish in last week’s Social Media Bootcamp!

Nancy Tardioli, Director of Communications & Community Partnerships


Season of Wishes

 Webcollagesow2013

Join Make-A-Wish BC & Yukon and celebrate the spirit of giving through the Season of Wishes® campaign!

Discover the many ways to share the power of a wish®  with family and friends during this festive time of year.

Whether you distribute glow stars in your school or workplace, send our holiday Hallmark cards, make a donation as a holiday gift or attend one of our magical events, you’ll help us bring joy to children with life-threatening medical conditions throughout the year.

 


Connor’s Wish

connors cancer warriors

Connor befriended other kids with cancer or other “cancer warriors” as he called them, on the oncology ward easily and without hesitation.  When other kids lost their hair and were self-conscious about their looks, Connor asked them to join him to play.  He reached out to many with kindness and made new friends.

Connor wanted to send other “cancer warriors” on their wish but sadly before that wish came true, he lost his battle with cancer.

In honour of Connor’s memory, the Connor’s Cancer Warrior’s Campaign was launched and to-date has raised over $33,000 for other children throughout the province coping with life-threatening medical conditions.  2 very special children; Chase & Sariya have already benefited from his campaign by having their wishes come true.

Chase – an energetic and curious 3 year old boy battling Wilms Tumor from Chetwynd, BC who’s wish was to have a backyard playhouse (complete with a comfy place to sleep!)

Sariya – a lovely 6 year old girl with Biliary Atresia from Coquitlam who wished to go to Disneyworld.  A very special thanks to Make It Happen Fashion Show for making Sariya’s wish come true.

connorswishes copy

We will always remember the generosity of spirit that Connor had – he knew that other children needed to feel the same joy that he did.

Click here to help us continue Connor’s legacy and grant as many wishes as possible to kids just like him.

 


Summer Message from the CEO

This September we begin celebrating our 30th year of granting magical wishes in BC and the Yukon. As the first chapter in Canada and outside of America we very proudly carry the torch that has been passed to us by our founders, leaders and supporters who came before us.  SummerBoardphoto

For a child facing the uncertainty of a life threatening medical condition – the gift of Hope is the greatest gift that we can give them. It carries them from a place of uncertainty and shows them that good things can still happen in their future.

At Make-A-Wish, we greatly appreciate every dollar donated to us and we strive to be worthy of that generosity and trust. We have 7 dedicated staff and over 150 passionate volunteers around the province, who help us in all aspects of our mission. We are very proud that under the watchful guidance of a committed and professional Board of Directors we can report that 84% of every donation goes directly towards the wish of a child.

As our referrals for wishes continue to climb we are equally proud that with the support of a generous community – our partners, donors, businesses, groups and individuals we continue to be able to say ‘yes’ to the increasing number of children who need the magic of hope in their lives.

We are aware that there are many worthy charities asking for support and we are very thankful to our supporters for their belief in us.  We will continue to work diligently together to ensure we grant the highest quality wish experience to reach every eligible child with a wish come true.

30 years ago Make-A-Wish BC & Yukon made a promise that we would provide the power of a wish to children with life threatening medical conditions and with the selfless commitment and generosity of our volunteers and supporters we intend on keeping this promise.

With sincere gratitude I marvel at the Make-A-Wish family each and every day and continue to be inspired by your dedication, compassion and benevolence.

Enjoy the summer – Ross Hetherington, CEO

 (photo:  Ross Hetherington & MAWBCYK Board of Directors)


Help us grant wishes to kids just like Nathan

Our Spring direct mail appeal features Nathan, an amazing child whose wish was to go to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter™ in Florida.  (Read more about Nathan here

   nathancheck1

The average wish costs $6,000.  With your help, we can make a lot of wishes come true so that other children can experience the magic that Nathan did.

The choice is yours – you could choose to become a monthly donor and help grant wishes all year long - select giving/donate now, call us toll-free at 1-866-277-9474 or mail in a cheque payable to Make-A-Wish BC & Yukon. 

 All funds raised go directly towards the granting of wishes to other kids in British Columbia and the Yukon.  From all of us to all of you, thank you for helping to make wishes come true.

 

 

 

 


Celebrating 2012 & looking forward to our 30th Anniversary

Dear Friends,

 There was much to celebrate for all of us at Make-A-Wish BC & Yukon this past year. While we were strategically involved in our national organizational realignment setting the stage for future success across Canada, in BC we granted 107 magical wishes – the most in Canada.

In September, we celebrated the granting of our 1500th wish in BC as we launched Nicholas and family on his wish to Cars Land at Disneyland.  Reaching such a significant milestone inspires us to reflect on the past and embrace the possibility of the future.

In November, we had the honour of recognizing three of our founders and three of our exceptional volunteers with the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Awards for their dedication to our mission.

As we plan to celebrate our 30th Anniversary in 2013, we can look to the future with tremendous confidence because of the overwhelming generosity of countless individuals, groups and business partners who continue to share their hearts, their time and their gifts with us.

As joyous as every wish is, we are remembering our wish kids who sadly lost their battles this year. We remember the joy and strength that they brought their families and all who met them. We are honoured to have met them and to have granted their one true wish.

Because of all of you – our village of hope – we are able to share the magical power of a wish with so many inspiring children and their families.

AliAJB&WWe would also like to take this opportunity to thank Allison Wallace (outgoing President of the Board) for her dedication and excellence towards helping make wishes come true.  We welcome Anthony (AJ) Caridi as our incoming President and  look forward to working with him as we continue on this journey of hope, strength and joy. 

 From all of us at Make-A-Wish, but especially the children – our heartfelt gratitude for your continued support.

Ross, CEO

 

(Photo:  AJ Caridi & Allison Wallace)