By Meghan Aanenson
In honor of MLK Day, twelve Normandale Community College students gathered at Make-a-Wish Foundation to assemble wish bags for children who have been diagnosed with a life threatening medical condition. After a wonderful orientation highlighting the organization’s history, the process of granting a wish, the critical role of volunteers, and the stories of incredible wishes granted to children around the world, the students were excited to start their projects.
Wish bags are brought to the child at the very first meeting between the family and Wish Granting volunteer. This volunteer works directly with the family to help plan the child’s wish from start to finish. Filled with age-appropriate books, toys, and gifts, wish bags help the child open up and get comfortable with the volunteer.
The Normandale students also decorated boxes, each filled with a paper chain link, that are sent to a child’s home 30 days before their wish takes place. The paper chain is a great visual countdown; each day a link is removed until the day the child’s wish is granted.
So much of Make-a-Wish-Foundation’s work is driven by volunteers. Because of the dedication of individuals and groups like the Normandale students, over 3,000 wishes have been granted in Minnesota over the past 28 years.