My name is Emily. I have the honor of being the communications manager for Make-A-Wish Middle Tennessee. I don't plan the wishes we grant, that's what our outstanding Programs Department does. I just get to tell the world about all aspects of the wish process. This week we granted 16-year-old D'Arion's wish to have a room makeover. On my way to his house for the big reveal, I reflected on how many people give their time, talent & treasures to grant wishes like D's. His wish is a perfect representation of all the people we want to acknowledge on World Wish Day.
D was referred to Make-A-Wish by Kara Hinerman, a social worker at Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt. Without doctors, nurses, child life specialists and social workers like Kara, we literally wouldn't have kids for whom to grant wishes.
After D'Arion was referred, his volunteers, Megan and Lauren, met with him to determine his one true wish. He decided after battling Hodgkin's lymphoma, he wanted a bedroom where he felt comfortable and where he could have some time to himself. He had a clear vision for his room, and his volunteers made sure he dream was realized. Volunteers who meet with wish kids are vital to the wish process. Their generous hearts and attentive ears help us create the best wish experience we can.
For D's wish, we partnered with Special Spaces Music City and the Nashville Predators Foundation. Wives and girlfriends of Nashville Predators players and coaches gave their time to decorate D'Arion's room to his specifications. Special Spaces provides room makeovers for kids with life-threatening illnesses, so they have room decorating down to a science. The Nashville Predators Foundation is a longtime supporter of Make-A-Wish. As I looked around at all of these volunteers, I thought, "Middle Tennessee is fortunate to have community partners like the Nashville Predators Foundation and Special Spaces. Even in the middle of playoffs insanity, they brought their time and talents to change a child's life. That's what the Make-A-Wish mission is all about."
In addition to providing volunteers for wishes, the Preds Foundation also supports Make-A-Wish with financial donations. And it takes contributions from the entire community to grant wishes like D's. Individual donations, corporate event sponsorships, workplace giving, in-kind contributions, foundation grants and memorial/tribute gifts are just some of the ways the community supports life-changing wishes.
As a staff, we reflect often on the community of support that make our jobs possible. It's nice to have a day like World Wish Day to recognize those that make our jobs possible.
Check out more photos from D'Arion's wish reveal.