"A wish is a plan for the future." And that's what Dorothy Laiti likes best about being a wish-granting volunteer for Make-A-Wish® Alaska and Washington.
She believes that wishes—whether they entail dressing up as a mouse, enjoying a special meal, or boarding a plane for a vacation—provide kids with a way to move through hard times and look forward to the future with hope and joy. "Wishes are a time when kids get to have fun and to be away from the hospital," she said.
For 12 years, Dorothy has planned everything from shopping sprees to play set installations to scavenger hunts and she's even helped install a bathtub!
Dorothy knows how to make wishes extra special. One way is by inviting her friends and family to be a part of a wish. "I look for community involvement. Nobody has to commit much, but they can do little pieces." Dorothy often announces a "wish list" for small items like backpacks, a children’s costume, or airplane games on her Facebook page. By inviting friends and family to help with her wishes, she fosters a sense of community around each wish.
One of Dorothy’s very first wish kids wanted to meet Woody from Toy Story. For his send-off party, Dorothy invited her friends to dress up in cowboy attire to deliver his wish packet. Not only did her friends have fun, but her creativity made the wish child feel extra special, too.
Dorothy even grants wishes in the grocery store! This April, Dorothy organized a Ninja Turtle scavenger hunt. Five-year-old Jace followed clues through the store before discovering two costumed Ninja Turtles. The turtles danced for Jace and presented him with a special turtle outfit for his wish trip to Orlando.
Make-A-Wish Alaska is in need of wish-granting volunteers, especially in the Anchorage area. If you'd like to bring hope, strength and joy back into the lives of children in your community, please join us for an upcoming online volunteer training.