With great pride, when I am asked the question, “So, what do you do?” I answer, “I work for Make-A-Wish.” After a brief description of what my job as a Wish Coordinator entails I am almost always asked, “Isn’t it hard? You know?” And I respond, “Actually, it’s life-giving.” I speak that the beauty of my job is that my focus is not the diagnosis. I get the opportunity to provide an experience outside hospital visits and treatments and give the child and family a moment to again be a child and a family amidst the whirlwinds of their lives. I get to focus on what makes the wish child, as Karla Wagner describes, “turn inside out” with pure joy and happiness.
I am humbled, inspired and motivated by the road these beautiful children and youth face and the obstacles they continually overcome. When a family comes home and shares their wish pictures and tells us that this was the first time in a long time they had seen their baby smile; that they had been able to forget about hospital appointments and remember what it is to be a family; or that they have seen a complete turnaround in their child’s journey to recovery since the wish, that is enough to remind me of my humanity and the impact I can have on another. Each wish is a reminder of the importance of our daily human interactions and how truly precious the gift of life, family and friendships are. So no, it is not “hard” to do what I do. It is an honor to have the ability to offer this experience to wish children and families.
Alyssa started as a Wish Granting intern in 2012 then transitioned into a part-time Wish Coordinator position with Make-A-Wish Colorado the same year. She became a full-time Wish Coordinator in 2013 and primarily works on the planning of celebrity, international and cruise wishes. Alyssa is fluent in Spanish and helps plan all wishes for our Spanish-speaking families. She also helps the Wish Granting department with the occasional Walt Disney World® Resort or local wish.