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Merissa Newton

Meet Merissa

In April, we're celebrating volunteer Merissa Newton who has granted more than 100 wishes!

 Merissa Newton Merissa Newton
How long have you been affiliated with Make-A-Wish and in what capacity?
I started as a wish granter in 2002, when we lived in Maryland.  My husband’s military commitment relocated us to Augusta, GA, where I continued as a wish granter for the three years we lived there.  We have been in Murfreesboro since 2009, and I am still excited about each and every wish!  I am going into my 16th year volunteering as wish granter now and have helped grant over 100 wishes!

What is your favorite wish story or experience with Make-A-Wish? 
Where do I begin!?  I have so many great stories over the years.  One of my first wishes is still one of my most memorable today.  Jamie was 13 and had osteosarcoma.  Her wish was to go on a castle tour of Ireland with her father.  When we asked her what she wanted to do for her wish reveal, she told us she wanted to have a small party at her house.  When my wish partner and I arrived, she had made a spaghetti dinner for us all by herself!  After dinner, she presented us with a chocolate cake she had made from scratch - her first ever.  And she wrote “Thank you so much for my wish!” on it.  She was so proud!  It was a very touching thank you and something I still remember vividly to this day.
In what way have you seen the impact a wish can have on a child? 
A few months after completing a wish, I received a phone call from a mother of the wish child, sadly to tell me her daughter had passed away.   After speaking for a few moments she told me she “just wanted to say thank you” for what we had given her daughter.  She went on to say that the wish trip they had taken was so special and that it was all her daughter had talked about for months since returning.  She said she would repeatedly return to her photo album and relive her trip… even up to her final weeks in the hospital.  She said that the memories brought her so much joy and happiness and that they would always be grateful for that.  The impact of a wish goes far beyond the wish itself.  Wishes truly do bring strength, hope and joy!
If you could have one wish, what would it be?
I would probably wish to take a very long vacation in Italy.  I have never been there, and it is something I hope to do one day!

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