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Jakob’s Wish

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JAKOB’S WISH – To Go to Atlantis

Jakob, 7 years old wished to go to Atlantis, the fun-filled family resort on Paradise Island in the Bahamas.

For the past 4 years, Jakob, who has Portal Vein Thrombosis has had to endure some tough times. The wish trip became a turning point for Jakob and his brother and a trip that the family will celebrate for years to come.

“Wow what a gift we received! I don’t even know how to begin to thank you for this amazing wish trip.  Jakob was ecstatic the entire time and he seemed larger than life.  From early in the morning when he woke up to the night before we left, he was smiling.

From Dolphin Cay to the Marine Habitat – sea life (his most favourite thing) surrounded him at this amazing place.  Jumping waves, snorkeling, swimming, sliding…. and dolphins.  What more could anyone ask for?

Not only was this a wish for Jakob but also for his older brother Jaidin.  When Jakob was sick I had to spend so much time with just him and when he had his operation I had to stay with him in Chicago for over a month.  This was what we needed to do; but without realizing the stress and hurt it caused our older son even though he understood what was going on.  In Jaidin’s words “he needed mommy too”!  This has caused a lot of brotherly fighting and it has been very hard to watch as parents.

Until Atlantis!  What this trip has done for our boys is simply amazing!  They became friends. They laughed and played and got along.  Jaidin was also healed on this wish –  so much so that Jakob and his brother want to move to Atlantis!

From the bottom of our hearts we thank you for this amazing gift celebrating our son’s health and our family’s love for one another.  We would not have been able to share this incredible family experience without Make-A-Wish.” – Jen, Jakob’s Mom.

 

Thank you to everyone from the 2013 Lucas Legacy Golf Tournament for adopting Jakob’s wish.

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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?

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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

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 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

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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

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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.

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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

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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)


Saskia’s Amazing Journey

IMG_0927Five years ago, I met my wish grantor in a crowded Granville Island café over soup and smiles. Mayra was a true fairy godmother. In the time since she and Make-A-Wish BC & Yukon helped me start dreaming, my life has changed in so many ways. A little psychological magic can transform everything. 

 This past November, I ran a 182-kilometer ultra-marathon in four days across Botswana. I was a fully sponsored Youth Ambassador for the non-profit impossible2possible, which seeks to educate, inspire, and empower youth through adventure. During our expedition, we raised awareness about water issues and defying personal limits by communicating live to classrooms worldwide via video technology. This experience gave me new incite into myself, my medical history, and the human spirit.

 Even more than a public journey about water shortages for the students following us online, it was a personal journey. As we crossed desert and saltpans, my feet became blistered and my muscles became sore. I think a pedicure would have been a lost cause on my toes. But I realized, as we finally reached the sandy finish line of our last day, that it didn’t matter what my body felt like; my mind defined the distance I could cross. More than ever, I now believe that success is not as much a function of one’s circumstances so much as one’s commitment to keep going.  197289_10151161355222839_1415253434_n

 At the time of my wish, I couldn’t have imagined myself running such a distance. I have Lupus (systemic): a chronic autoimmune disease that, in short, causes my body to attack itself. In 2007, I was having a flare that impacted my kidneys. I missed more than thirty days of grade seven for doctor’s appointments at Children’s Hospital, underwent a kidney biopsy, and had to take prednisone. All of this ultimately brought down my self-esteem to a point where I didn’t believe I’d ever move on.

 Yet I’m now in remission and just managed to run an ultra-marathon – thanks to the support of my team and because of an inner strength I think that Make-A-Wish helped give me. Indeed, mental will is the biggest gift of any wish. In order to have perseverance, one needs to trust in the good ahead. I’ll never forget the magic of my wish to the Galapagos Islands or just how much it changed my emotional state and thus my physical recovery. During those four fantastical days with my family, we spotted sea lions, laughed at marine iguanas with salt-encrusted nostrils, and marveled at gliding albatrosses. This amazing week offered me part of the psychological force to push forward and win against Lupus.   Galapagos 2

 Perhaps overcoming my Lupus flare was not so different from my ultra-marathon. Perhaps, in fact, my wish is also a portion of what gave me the courage to run that far: what made me believe in accomplishing the seemingly impossible. I was able to create my own incredible because of what Make-A-Wish gave me when I really needed it, during a period when I couldn’t do it for myself. Our minds are more powerful than any medicine or even our muscles. With enough mental will and enough luck as well, the impossible can sometimes become possible. 

Thank you Make-A-Wish BC & YK  for helping me reach where I am today.    – Saskia -

 


Celebrating Volunteer Week 2013

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The biggest of thanks go out this week to our incredible volunteers! 

From interviewing Wish families to planning Wish Bon Voyage parties to helping out at special events to being a Committee Member or Director of the Board – you help us –  each and every day, grant wishes to some very special kids throughout BC and the Yukon.

It’s often said that it takes a village to grant a wish.  You are such an important part of our village and we simply could not grant wishes without you!

THANK YOU!