That’s how my internship at Make-A-Wish was. As someone born into a family full of pharmacists, I was the first to pursue marketing and more specifically, nonprofit marketing. I didn’t know anyone who had previously worked at Make-A-Wish to ask them what to expect. Fresh out of college, I was going into the nonprofit world blind.
When I started back in June, I knew a few things going into it as a marketing intern. I knew I would use my passion for writing and help market the wonderful organization of Make-A-Wish. A few tweets here and there and maybe the chance to break out my camera and practice photography. What I didn’t know and what I couldn’t plan for, was the depth of the impact that this internship would have on me. In my first intern blog post, I talked about one project that I was especially excited for but didn’t share much detail.
During these past few months, I was given the opportunity to interview wish parents to talk to them about their child’s wish experience. I would contact the family through email, asking if I could set up a phone interview. From there, we would talk about their child, the wish experience, and anything they wanted to add. I think it’s noteworthy to add that I was never turned down for one of these interviews. I think that proves the power of a wish; most people want to share the hope and strength they gained from it.
I wrote wish stories, press releases and blog posts. I met wish kids, parents and volunteers. I traveled to KC to attend a premiere fundraising event. I attended other events that were local but still extraordinary.
I remember ending my first blog post by saying that I planned to embrace the unexpected. I’m confident that I did. I’m sad that my internship here at Make-A-Wish is coming to an a close. But it’s not the end. I plan on volunteering as a wish granter. I plan on staying in touch with the friends I made here, the same ones that welcomed me with a smile on that first day of mine. I plan on continuing to serve as a voice for Make-A-Wish because even though I will no longer be an intern, the work that you do here is contagious. I want the mission of Make-A-Wish to spread like wildfire, our voices being the fuel to help it travel farther.
I learned the misconceptions of Make-A-Wish, the driving force behind the mission of this organization and the impact of a wish truly meant.
I knew that wishes had an impact. What I learned was how far that impact stretches. Beyond the wish kids, it impacts the parents, the siblings, the donors and people like myself. Part of the mission of Make-A-Wish is “to enrich the human experience with hope, strength and joy.” Truer words have never been spoken.