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Wish Blog

Feb 22, 2017

#WhyIWalk: Tonya

Walk Committee
Tonya Thepthongsay has been a wish granting volunteer for five years, but her contributions to Make-A-Wish don't stop there. Tonya serves on the Walk for Wishes committee and the Make-A-Wish Middle Tennessee Young Leaders Board. Here she shares her best Walk for Wishes fundraising tips.

I got involved with Make-A-Wish® Middle Tennessee just five years ago when I just decided that I wanted to be a wish granter. The first wish that I helped grant was on World Wish Day, and it was a huge party that was so much fun. I stayed involved because I just loved it!

In addition to being a wish-granting volunteer, I have also been a part of the Walk for Wishes committee for the past two years and am now a member of the Young Leaders Board (YLB). The YLB helps with events and raising awareness for Make-A-Wish Middle Tennessee.

I am so excited for Walk for Wishes 2017 because last year was just so awesome! We blew our fundraising goal out of the water and I am hoping we can top that this year. The walk is just such a good time and watching the kids have fun is what it is all about.

Fundraising is a big part of Walk for Wishes, and I have been fortunate enough to have some successful fundraisers. I contacted a LulaRoe representative to set up a fundraiser. She set up a pop-up boutique in my house one afternoon and I invited friends and family over to shop. For the ones who couldn’t make it, they were able to shop online. We raised over $1000 in just one week! I have such a passion for this organization. I think that’s what gets my friends and family excited to donate to this event each year.

The number one fundraising tip I have is make sure you show your excitement for Make-A-Wish because it really makes a difference. Excitement is contagious! Learn as much as you can to share with people about what Make-A-Wish does and why it is so important. So many people have misconceptions but this is a chance for you to educate. Share about the wish process and wish stories that have made a difference. Another tip is to check with your employer about matching charitable donations. There are often programs that will match what you are able to donate to this event. It can make a huge difference. 

When someone asks me why I walk for Make-A-Wish, I tell them, “I walk because I love Make-A-Wish. I have helped grant so many wishes,  and it is amazing to see the ripple effect that a wish can have on a kid, their family and an entire community. Granting wishes is so exciting and granting more will be even better!”

So sign up for Walk for Wishes 2017 and get excited!

Tonya Thepthongsay

Team YLB Wish Walkers 

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