When Adelaide Tai was five years old, her younger sister was diagnosed with neuroblastoma, a rare childhood cancer that results in tumors throughout the neck, chest, abdomen and pelvis. Amidst the trauma and stress of that time, Make-A-Wish Foundation partnered with the 70-acre luxury resort, Give Kids the World Village, to provide an amazing vacation for Tai and her family.
“My grandmother described kindness as a drop in water that ripples out to touch more and more lives. This is true for Make-A-Wish Foundation,” Tai says. “Even though the wish was for my sister … witnessing that display of kindness from strangers who had no motive, other than literally to grant a child's wish, was very magical to me.”
These days, a child is referred to Make-A-Wish every 28 minutes, and a wish is granted about once every 38 minutes. The average cost of one of these magical experiences is $8,141, as of August 2012.
Granting all those wishes may seem an impossible task but there are many ways to join the cause. Rasmussen College’s Rockford, Ill., campus found a perfect way to help fund these special wishes.
Rockford rocks it
Rockford campus student advisor, Andrea Stimes, was a volunteer with the Make-A-Wish Foundation when she learned of the “Jeans for Wishes” initiative. She immediately thought it would be perfect for her campus.
Jeans for Wishes is a campaign in which organizations and schools don blue jeans or their favorite sports apparel to raise funds for children with life-threatening medical conditions. And after a successful presentation to the college director, Stimes got the green light to register the Rockford campus for its very own campaign.
The campaign allowed Rockford faculty and staff to wear jeans in place of their professional garb as long as they agreed to wear a promotional sticker and provide a $5 donation. Jeans for Wishes ran for three days on the Rockford campus, but the fundraising went on much longer, lasting mid-February through mid-March.
The Make-A-Wish Foundation also provided Stimes with promotional material, which she hung by the front desk and student lounge. She spread the word in staff meetings and online, and told the stories of local children affected by the wishes.
“I saw strong support coming from all areas of the campus,” Stimes said. “Sometimes ... when you hear about something that happens close to home, it strikes a chord for you.”
Recent alumni and current students were asked to donate on Rockford’s campaign page and were encouraged to purchase DVDs of the 2013 graduation ceremony, for an additional $5 donation.
Jeans for Wishes ended up being a rousing success in Rockford. The campus raised a total of $470 during the 30-day campaign, almost doubling its $250 goal.
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