Wishes are as big as a child’s imagination and 8-year-old Amelia, who is battling brain cancer, wished to take care of the world for a day. This selfless act came as no surprise to Amelia’s parents given her love for the outdoors, parks and the Earth. After treatments, Amelia and her grandma take walks in the park and they pick up the trash. On February 27, hundreds from the Kansas City community, throughout the state of Missouri and around the world came together to help make Amelia’s wish come true.
Amelia's wish day began around 8:30AM when she arrived at her first of four neighborhood parks, Romey Hills Park, to start taking care of the world. Amelia, along with around 75 friends, family and other volunteers, collected a dozen full trash bags before heading to two more parks, New Mark Subdivision and Macken Park. At Macken Park, Amelia was presented with an honor bench that will be placed in Macken Park to remember her wish day.
Amelia arrived at her final destination, Swope Park, to an entrance fit for royalty. Hundreds of volunteers lined the street along with police cars and fire trucks to welcome her. After picking up trash with her friends at Swope Park, Amelia's wish concluded with a presentation full of special guests. The Director of KC Parks and Recreation welcomed everyone and extended a thank you to Amelia for inspiring so many to clean up their community. Beryl Raff, CEO of Helzberg Diamonds, presented her, her mom and grandmas with special matching necklaces to always remember this day. Mayor Sly James proclaimed February 27th as "Amelia's take care of the world day" in Kansas City and the Mayor of St. Joseph, MO also thanked Amelia for inspiring his community as well. The day concluded with a heartfelt thank you from Amelia's family and a KCTV 5 Surprise Squad cupcake truck!
Make-A-Wish Missouri also organized three other park cleanups around the state in St. Louis, Springfield and Cape Girardeau, engaging over 300 volunteers in Amelia's effort outside of her Kansas City community. Tons of other cleanups were also organized by wish granters, Amelia's friends and family and complete strangers that were touched by this story.
Thousands of tweets using #ameliaswish flooded in from around the world on February 27th and it continues to grow as more and more people learn about Amelia's inspiring story! Let's keep it going! Next time you see a piece of trash, or an opportunity to make the world a little better, take a photo and tag it using #ameliaswish.
Make-A-Wish Missouri wants to thank everyone that helped make Amelia's wish incredible!
*Photos by Rebecca Allen Photography
Pat Duncan, Chairman of the Make-A-Wish Missouri Kansas City Development Board