Do you have volunteer opportunities?
Volunteers are the foundation of our organization. Our chapter has over 280 volunteers and a small professional staff. A volunteer Board of Directors governs the Foundation. Even wish families have asked to become volunteers for the Foundation after their wishes are complete. Volunteers decide to involve themselves in one of the following activities: special events and fundraising, wish granting, as an ambassador doing public speaking, or working in our office or on a special project.
What does the application process involve?
Our application process is as follows:
- Take time to review the Foundation’s Web site. Fill out an application form and mail, e-mail, fax, or deliver it to us. You will find this application in the section of our Web site called “Ways To Help.”
- We then complete a screening process, including references and a criminal background check to ensure the safety of you yourself, our wish children, and the Foundation.
- Once your application has been successfully screened, we’ll invite you for an interview. The interview is a chance for us to get to know you better so we can match you with an appropriate volunteer position and answer any questions you have.
- If there are openings for the position you have applied for, we invite you to attend a new volunteer orientation and position training which is held four times a year.
- Certain volunteer positions require additional training beyond the new volunteer orientation.
How long is the application process?
The whole process typically takes about 2-4 months, depending on the timing of our training sessions. Once you are on board as a volunteer, though, we usually put you to work right away!
What kind of commitment is there?
Commitment levels vary in terms of time, depending on your volunteer position. Wish Granters can sometimes put in twenty hours a week, especially when a wish is a complex one, or is reaching its delivery day, or they can spend less than an hour a week on wish work. The same applies to other volunteer positions. Wish Granters are required to commit to one year and complete at least three wishes in that year. Wish Ambassadors may only put in two hours a month, but must have a flexible schedule to accommodate daytime assignments. They are required to take on two assignments or more each year. Wish Magicians may choose to work only one special event each year, but may spend many hours a week helping with that event. They are required to help with a minimum of two events a year. However, all volunteers at the Make-A-Wish Foundation® are charged with the fragile and beautiful business of making dreams come true. It’s an important and precious job, and so we do expect a high level of commitment and professionalism from our volunteers. But the rewards are tremendous!
Do you have many openings for volunteers?
We almost always have one or two openings for volunteers and encourage you to contact us.
What volunteer opportunities are available?
We offer all kinds of volunteer experiences from wish granting to public speaking, to event planning and execution, to helping us out in the office.
Are volunteers very involved with the children?
Of all our volunteer positions, wish granting offers the highest level of involvement with wish children and their families. Even so, wish granters meet a family at the beginning and end of a wish, but may rely on telephone contacts during the rest of the planning time. Our emphasis is on delivering a one-of-a-kind wish experience, rather than on developing ongoing relationships with families or children.
Do you have volunteer positions that aren’t emotionally demanding?
We know that the work we do has a high emotional content. Some people would like to help because they relate to our mission, but would prefer little or no involvement with families. In such cases, we suggest the positions of Wish Magician or Wish Ambassador. All our volunteer positions contribute equally to our mission, and bring joy to children with life-threatening conditions and their families.