A Mississippi Kiwanis club’s relationship with the Make-A-Wish Foundation has enabled several children to fulfill dreams that will improve their emotional well-being.
The Make-A-Wish Foundation grants wishes for children who have been diagnosed with life-threatening medical conditions. Donations to the charity allow it to help children feel better emotionally and physically by giving them optimism and courage in the face of illness.
“We were contacted by Make-A-Wish Mississippi about a child because we’ve had a long relationship of working with this worthwhile organization,” says Waynesboro Kiwanis Club member Tony Weaver. “Our club’s mission is to support children, and being a partner with Make-A-Wish gets to the heart of our community outreach.”
The club has supported the dreams of at least half a dozen wish grantees. Two children — one a cancer patient and the other awaiting a lung transplant — met Hannah Montana and visited Disney World.
Most recently, the club stepped forward to help a five-year-old girl who has a congenital heart condition requiring life-saving surgery. After her first surgery was unsuccessful, the family turned to Make-a-Wish to brighten her days.
“Conditions like those faced by this child are very serious, and I think everyone involved knew the gravity of granting this wish and to bring some joy into the life of this youngster,” says Weaver. “She wanted to go shopping, and we helped to make that possible. … It was a very heartwarming experience for everyone involved.”
The Kiwanis club’s donation helped the family enjoy a 52-mile Hummer limo ride to the nearest Toys“R”Us store, where she carefully selected electronics, a bicycle and some dolls to fill two shopping carts.
“She was tickled to death,” Weaver recalls. — Courtney Meyer
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