Since 70 percent of the wishes Make-A-Wish grants are travel-related, December is the charity’s busiest month for granting wishes, says Sara Lister, president and CEO of Make-A-Wish New Mexico.
“Kids who are sick already miss a lot of school, so their parents like to take them on these trips at a time when schools are on break, so they don’t have to miss more time in the classroom.”
The New Mexico chapter grants about 105 wishes per year, and support from organizations like LadyBoss is critical.
“We couldn’t do what we do without the help of organizations like LadyBoss,” she says.
Make-A-Wish breaks its requests into five kinds of wishes: travel, tangible, celebrity, wish to be someone, and a wish to give back.
“No matter what the wish is, we want to figure out a way to make that happen,” Lister says.”The wish can be as big as the child’s imagination.”
Eight-year-old Eleck dreamed of following in his grandfather’s footsteps and becoming an Army Ranger. But his cystic fibrosis will prevent that dream from becoming a reality.
The 75th Ranger Regiment welcomed Eleck, his parents, and younger brother Bryce, to Fort Benning, Georgia, so the boys could experience being Rangers.
Alondra often feels different than other teens. Her illness keeps her from doing many things, including celebrating her 15th birthday with a quinceañera.
But Make-A-Wish was able to give her a magical Sweet Sixteen Party in a quinceañera fashion, complete with a makeover, a turquoise ball gown, and a hand-crafted tiara.
Six-year-old Auri wanted to go on a Disney cruise. Her mother said the trip was a dream come true for the family of six.
“We have all been affected by Auriana’s diagnosis. Her older siblings have had to watch while their baby sister has been put through more than even an adult should ever go through,” her mother says. “We, as parents, had to be away from her sibling to spend many nights in the ER and the hospital. Her siblings could no longer participate in the activities they once did.”
But their Make-A-Wish trip allowed the family to be able to relax and enjoy spending time together.
“We spent time together as a family laughing and smiling, and that was the best part!”
One of the common misconceptions about Make-A-Wish is that money raised nationally helps grant wishes in New Mexico. It doesn’t. Make-A-Wish New Mexico relies on charitable giving it can raise to grant wishes.
LadyBoss co-founders Brandon and Kaelin Poulin are happy to help. The Poulins are committed to supporting charitable organizations like Make-A-Wish.
Since starting the company in 2014, the Poulins have donated more than $500,000 to groups including:
The Care Net Pregnancy Center of Albuquerque, a non-profit charity comprised of pregnancy resource centers in the Albuquerque metro area.
Feed NM Kids, which collects donations of nutritious snack items to provide to children in need with the end goal of ending childhood hunger in New Mexico.
March of Dimes, which has helped millions of babies survive and thrive by supporting moms during pregnancy and pioneering research solutions to address the most significant health threats to moms and babies.
Operation Smile, which provides safe surgery solutions to treat children around the world with cleft lip and cleft palate.
Special Olympics New Mexico, which serves child and adult athletes with intellectual disabilities by providing year-round sports training and athletic competition in 12 Olympic-type sports.
Unity 4 Orphans, a charitable organization established to raise awareness, unite communities, and mobilize people towards creatively and tangibly investing in the lives of abandoned and neglected children.
“One of our fundamental values is that LadyBoss gives, it doesn’t take,” Brandon Poulin says. “We know we are blessed to have a healthy daughter. Not everyone is as fortunate.”
Lister appreciates the support.
“Organizations like LadyBoss give us the means to provide wishes that help transform a child’s life. We give them hope,” she says.
“And, more importantly, a chance to just be a kid again.”
You can make a one-time or monthly donation to Make-A-Wish New Mexico to help grant a wish and give children renewed strength to fight their illnesses.