Make-A-Wish grants wishes to children in Oklahoma who have been diagnosed with a life threatening illness.
Jane Rohweder, Director of Development for Make-A-Wish Oklahoma, explains that Make-A-Wish comes into a child’s life when they and their family have received a lot of bad news in dealing with very serious medical situations and wishes given bring back joy into their lives. Rohweder says a wish also provides strength and hope of better days ahead. Children who are wish recipients live in Oklahoma, are between the ages of 2 and a half and 18 years old and have a life threatening diagnosis. They are often reffered to Make-A-Wish by their physicians or other hospital staff. Rohweder has served on the staff of this statewide organization for 8 years. Prior to coming on staff Jane experienced Make-A-Wish as a mother whose daughter is a two time cancer survivor and a wish recipient at 9 years old. Rohweder’s daughter Anna is now 19 and is an ambassador of Make-A-Wish. Five years of Anna’s childhood revolved around cancer treatment and she received the experience of a Disney cruise as her wish.
Make-A-Wish is holding a facebook drive. The facebook drive is a very easy way to support Make-A-Wish. A sponsor has pledged to donate one dollar for every “like” received on facebook.com/makeawishoklahoma. The sponsor will give up to $2500. The facebook drive will last until Sept. 30th. Rohweder says they need 2500 people to click the like button on their facebook page before the end of the month. Also, Make-A-Wish Oklahoma is holding a statewide walk at the Oklahoma City zoo on November 3rd. At this second annual “Walk for Wishes,” wish children and families will be present to celebrate as well as teams of walkers supporting the fundraiser. At the zoo there will be a carnival, food, and music as part of the event. Rohweder encourages people to form large teams and register for the walk on their website: http://www.oklahoma.wish.org/walk
Volunteers are always needs as Make-A-Wish has a very small staff in order to keep their administrative cost low. The 11 staff members rely on volunteers to help them grant wishes. Last year 158 wishes were granted. This link to their volunteer page gives all the information on how to become a “Wish Granter” volunteer and the training dates: http://www.oklahoma.wish.org/volunteers1 Rohweder says they are always looking for funding and event opportunities. They need corporations, school groups, or civic organizations to visit to talk about their organization and give ideas for fundraising. Groups interested in fundraising opportunities can contact Jane at the Tulsa Make-A-Wish office at 918-492-9474. Donations can be given by calling their office or through Make-A-Wish Oklahoma’s website. All of the money raise in Oklahoma stays in Oklahoma. Rohweder also mentioned that there is a new trend for children and teen birthday parties by having Make-A-Wish be the beneficiary of the birthday party where students give donations to Make-A-Wish instead of giving a birthday gift.