When Jamerika Haynes was just a fifth grader, she was already well on her way to a life of service and she didn’t even know it.
While reading the local newspaper, a story about a very sick little boy caught her eye. He wanted to go to Disneyland®
and Make-A-Wish needed help to send him there.
Jamerika was determined to help. She asked her teacher if they could raise funds for his wish. A bake sale and several hundred dollars later, she had good reason to be proud. Fast forward 20 years and she’s still beaming with pride as a former Make-A-Wish staffer, a wish-granting volunteer and a donor.
“To me, Make-A-Wish means hope and I think it’s really important to find ways to find joy and hope,” she says. One way that she has committed to this is by designating Make-A-Wish as a beneficiary of her life insurance policy. It was quick and an easy way to make a lasting impact.
Another way people can support Make-A-Wish and leave a legacy is by naming our local chapter as a beneficiary in their will. As a young woman, Jamerika was moved to write her will when her brother unexpectedly passed. What was a very stressful time in her life was compounded because he didn’t have a will. “I just remember thinking I don’t want people to go through this when I’m gone,” she says.
The process was surprisingly quicker than she thought. “If anything, people spend more time putting it off then actually doing it.”
Now that her will is written, she says it’s one less thing to think about and she has the joy of knowing she’ll be helping make wishes come true for many children in the future.
“Having a will gives you a sense of accomplishment in knowing that you are handling your life and giving back,” she says.