When Mark Dederer remembers back to his first wish experience, it hits close to home. In 2001, Mark’s son Eric received his wish to meet his favorite cartoon character.
Eric passed away in 2002, but the impact of his wish remains just as strong today as it did 14 years ago. “Eric’s wish pictures are on my desk to this day,” he said. And now, Mark has brought the spirit of philanthropy and community that brought Eric’s wish to reality to his workplace at Wells Fargo.
“We got involved because we were interested in getting employees active with philanthropy in our community” said Mark. “As we talked about Make-A-Wish, the opportunity to grant wishes and the chance to celebrate young kids at a time when they need it most, everyone thought it was a good idea.”
One of the first wishes Wells Fargo granted was for 7-year-old Claire, who wished to go to her favorite theme park.
“When we granted Claire’s wish, I felt like we were doing the right thing,” said Mark. “Everyone had so much fun. From there it blossomed and evolved. The feedback is overwhelmingly positive.”
Now, four local Wells Fargo branches are involved in the Adopt-A-Wish program. Together, they have granted 14 wishes since 2010. And the impact reaches much further than the kids who have their most heartfelt wishes granted.
“The children may get their wish granted, but we reap such a huge reward by participating that it’s kind of like we’re getting our wish granted too,” said Rebecca Martinez Roberts from Wells Fargo Advisors, Seattle.
Make-A-Wish gives Wells Fargo team members way to get engaged with the community and serve local families. “It’s meaningful and important work,” said Mark. “Partnering with Make-A-Wish to grant wishes is proud work for the company.”
Being part of a child’s wish brings the team together, too. “Wishes are a way to bring an office together in a way no work project can,” said Lucy LeVon from Wells Fargo Advisors, Bellevue. “Co-workers become friends and an office becomes a team.”
“We enjoy the team bonding while watching the child’s face light up,” added Kristi Bruketta from Wells Fargo, Seattle. “Make-A-Wish has become part of our culture here at Wells Fargo.”
“It’s a huge joy for our team members to be engaged and get involved,” said Mark. “It means the world to them to know they can help families that have gone through strife and sickness in their small way. They can be part of the power of a wish.”
For more information about how your company or organization can Adopt-A-Wish, visit the Adopt-A-Wish section of our website.