Sick children living in Jefferson, Lewis and St. Lawrence counties need your help to have their ultimate wishes granted.
The Make-A-Wish Foundation of Central New York aims to make that possible, and will have a Sept. 29 training workshop for people interested in becoming volunteer wish granters to help those childrens dreams come true.
Program services manager Olivia Colabufo said all it takes is someone who has the heart and wants to make a difference.
Volunteers, she said, should have great people skills, be organized and detail oriented and work well with children because the agency serves youths ages 2½ to 18. Each volunteers time commitment depends on how detailed a childs wish is. Mrs. Colabufo said each wish granter spends an average of 20 hours working voluntarily with a child and his or her family throughout each six-month period.
Volunteers meet with families and talk with children eligible for the program to find out their ultimate wish. Through a series of visits, and with information given by the child and family, the wish granter helps come up with ways to make that wish come true.
Wishes may range from a bedroom makeover to a Disney vacation, and many ideas in between.
We have an amazing team of ladies in Jefferson (County) that help us grant wishes, Mrs. Colabufo said Thursday. Seven wishes have been granted so far this year, and at least four or five are in the pipeline. Its a lot for two people to handle.
There are two wish granters who help in Jefferson County. Mrs. Colabufo said there is a third, but that volunteer helps mainly with Oswego County wishes.
In St. Lawrence County, a team of 10 people has helped grant three wishes. There is a team of four in Oswego County, where six wishes have been granted so far in 2012.
Mrs. Colabufo said there are no wish granters, and no wishes have been granted, in Lewis County so far this year.
I think the biggest challenge is awareness, she said. We dont have a huge presence, and its about spreading the word.
She said her goal is to get at least four more volunteers for Jefferson, Lewis, St. Lawrence and Oswego counties.
People interested in becoming a volunteer must complete an application and background check before the volunteer training workshop, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sept. 29 at the agencys office, 5005 Campuswood Drive, East Syracuse.
For application information, and to enroll in the training workshop, call Mrs. Colabufo at 475-9474.