When we were first told by our NSTP prof to do 3 volunteer activities, one of the organizations that I wanted to volunteer for was the Make a Wish foundation. During the time, Sandi was still working for them so we were able to organize a meet almost right away. She just told us what Make a Wish is all about, what we can do as sponsors, and the do’s and don’ts during a wish grant. My groupmates and I picked three kids at first but due to some unfortunate delays and issues with contacts, we were not able to push through with our wish grant. 😦 Also, Sandi found a new job working for the government so I was coordinating with Lizette instead.
After what seemed to be forever, I finally messaged Lizette if there was any other wish grants that I can help out with just to make the deadline for the school requirements. Thankfully she had an event coming up!! This happened last September and it was for eight kids namely Katkat, Jared, Ashley, Kit, Reynaldo, Rolando, Kim and Jasmine. The wish grant was organized by a company called Mega Sports World. I was able to talk with one of the volunteers from the company and she told me that a few weeks back, they held a fun run and all the profit they got from that and also donations from their employees, they picked Make a Wish as their beneficiary. The party was held at Active Fun Ranch in Ortigas (it’s near Tiendesita’s) and the kids were brought in from PGH and PCMC.
I arrived at the venue at 8AM and some guys were still setting up the venue at the time. After a little while of waiting, Anne from MAW arrived with the first five kids. While waiting for the other volunteers and Lizette (who was driving the kids from PGH to the venue), I decided to get to know the kids and talk to their guardians who were mostly moms, dads, and grandparents. I learned that most of the kids are actually diagnosed with different types of Leukemia so some of them were still or came from chemotherapy. It was surprising to find out things like Jared (3 years old) had just come from surgery because he was running around and playing with the other kids. The kids were shy at first but they came around eventually. I also got to talk to Kaleil who is the head of MAW in the Philippines and we talked for a bit about the kids and he gave me advice on how to get them to open up. When the people of Mega Sports arrived, I decided to take the back seat and let them interact with the kids (because of course, that was their intention) so I watched them play games and also talked to the parents of the kids. I felt terrible watching the mothers tear up while telling their stories; the hardships and the troubles that they had gone through just to come to Manila and have their kids treated. I really had a heavy heart talking to them and I think that whenever I asked them how they were (not their kids), I think that they felt the genuineness of someone who actually cared about them.
During the party, the kids got to play games, dance, watch a magic show, and lastly, got surprise gifts. These gifts are special because when they were asked what they truly wanted, these were what they asked for. Alot of the kids asked for toys but I saw that one kid asked for a tablet! Amazing! I was surprised that kids nowadays know how to use alot of the gadgets now. After the gift giving, Lizette came out with a birthday cake for Jared because it was his birthday the day before. His grandmother cried so much, she said when she led the prayer before eating that she is thankful that they’re blessed to be loved by so many “strangers”.
Moments like that is what I always look forward to. It gives me hope in humanity. I am so thankful that Make a Wish gave me the opportunity to see how its done. 🙂 I can’t wait for when we do our own wish grant 🙂