If you talk to Tammy McMannon for just a few minutes, you’ll hear compassion in her voice. She’s been a nurse in the military for nine years, and she often works night shifts, caring for adult patients in the ICU.
With a job like that, you’d think that Tammy might use her spare time to sleep.
But Tammy’s compassion knows no bounds. She works exclusively with adults doing her job as a nurse, so she’s determined to give back to local children in her spare time. She says, “Volunteering at Make-A-Wish gives me the interaction with children that I don’t have in my career.”
Tammy has experienced first-hand that wishes help local Alaskan children replace fear with confidence, sadness with joy, and anxiety with hope. Last fall, one of her wish kids, Kyle, had been through some scary hospital stays, but he remained determined to make it to a warm beach and build a sandcastle with his family.
With the help of Tammy and another volunteer, Kyle was able to experience a wish come true when he traveled with his family to the beach. Tammy said, “Getting to see the picture of Kyle finally on the beach building a sand castle brought me so much joy.”
And, this joy helps many children get a leg up on their illness. In fact, wishes have proven physical and emotional benefits that can give children with critical illnesses a higher chance of survival.
Make-A-Wish volunteers always work with a partner to help make wishes come true. And, you don’t need to have unlimited amounts of time to become a wish-granting volunteer. Tammy says, “This is probably one of the best and most rewarding ways to help children. It’s not that time-consuming since you can choose your own pace.”
Right now, Make-A-Wish does not have enough volunteers in Alaska to grant a wish to every eligible child. Many Alaskan children are waiting months for their wishes to be granted and that’s not giving them the best chance to get better.
Can you help?
Become a wish-granting volunteer today