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Make-A-Wish Foundation searching for volunteers

Due to a growing number of wish requests, the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Greater Pennsylvania and southern West Virginia is in need of kindhearted individuals in Somerset, Bedford, Fulton, Blair, Huntingdon, Mifflin, Juniata and Cambria counties to step forward and volunteer their time and friendship, in order to assist with wish fulfillment.
As members of “wish teams”, volunteers are an important component of fulfilling wishes. Working together, the “wish team” meets with the wish child’s family, acts as a liaison between the Foundation staff and family, and aids in determining the most suitable wish for the child. Through their empathy and warmth, volunteers help to make the wish process as carefree and unforgettable as possible for every member of the family. In order to become a wish volunteer, individuals must be at least 21 years of age and be able to pass a criminal background check.
Volunteers also help at special events such as golf tournaments, haunted houses and dances. They have the opportunity to help implement fundraising programs at schools and in work places with the Make-A-Wish staff. In addition, volunteers can help in the office with mailings, phone calls, filing, office support and special projects.
“Volunteers are the lifeblood of our organization,” said president and CEO Judith Stone. “They are the ones who work with our wish children and make their dreams come true.”
Attendance at one four-hour volunteer training session is mandatory for all interested individuals. This training will familiarize the prospective volunteer with his or her duties to the Foundation and the families. The next training is scheduled for April 8 in Altoona.
For more information, call Suzy at the Altoona office at 693-9065.
The Make-A-Wish Foundation of Greater Pennsylvania and southern West Virginia is a non-profit organization, which grants wishes to children with life-threatening medical conditions to enrich the human experience with hope, strength and joy. It was founded in 1983 and serves 57 counties in western, central and northeastern Pennsylvania and 23 counties in southern and West Virginia with headquarters in Pittsburgh and regional offices in Erie, Altoona, Punxsutawney, Pottsville, Wilkes-Barre and York, PA, and Charleston, West Virginia. In fiscal year 2005, the Foundation fulfilled 608 wishes with the help of nearly 800 volunteers. 81.3 percent of all donations fund wish granting activity. The Altoona Regional office opened in September 1992. It oversees wish fulfillment and fundraising activities in Bedford, Blair, Cambria, Fulton, Huntingdon, Juniata, Mifflin and Somerset counties. In fiscal year 2005, the regional office fulfilled 46 wishes. Currently, the Foundation is the most active chapter in the country and has fulfilled more than 7,000 wishes. For more information on how to refer children or to volunteer, call the Make-A-Wish Foundation at 1-800-676-WISH or visit the website at www.wishgreaterpa.org.