Tuesday, February 24, 2009

My Make a Wish story

I started a team for the Walk for Wishes here in Central Florida. The walk is on March 21st and is in Celebration at 10am. If you are local I really encourage you to join us (well right now it's just me) for this walk. There is a $10 registration fee that is due upon signing up, but that $10 is considered a donation to the Make a Wish Foundation. I know I do a lot of charity walks, but honestly this one is very important to me. Make a Wish Foundation is HUGE at Disney, mainly because this is where more kids want to go, and I got to meet a ton of these families while working there. We also had opportunities while on the College Program to go to the Make a Wish Village and stay with the kids while the parents got to have a night out. Let me share my Make a Wish story....
While I was on the College Program at Disney I worked on Main Street at the Magic Kingdom. I did a variety of things there, but on this particular day I was working parade audience control for the 3 o'clock and night time parades. I had a pretty easy station for the afternoon parade and was just walking around talking to the families waiting. Now before the parades, especially during the spring, we have marching bands from across the country play before hand. Well this one band came down and I saw this family stop to watch. It was a mom, dad, a son around 8 and a younger son in a wheelchair who was maybe 5. I got them squeezed into a spot to watch the band before it passed by. I started talking with the parents and they were saying that the band happened to be from their hometown and that was the only reason they stopped, they were actually heading out because there wasn't much for their younger son to do since they didn't want to keep transferring him in and out of his wheelchair for the rides. I started talking about all the rides at all the parks that they wouldn't have to do that and they were super grateful. We kept talking, even during the parade, which the 5 year old slept through (Murphy's law right?) and it just amazed me about their story. Never in a million years did they think they would be able to take their two boys to Disney World, mainly because of the medical expenses of their younger son. It hit me hard, it's something that I guess I always took advantage of. I went to Disney all the time as a kid, and obviously I was healthy and it wasn't an issue. Even now, I have two healthy kids that I can take anywhere and not even have to think about it. But not this family. It was also sad to think that this could be the last time that they would be able to do something like this, who knows how much longer their younger son had. I saw them the following day too at parade, they tracked me down because their son was finally awake so he could watch the parade that time. I fought to get them a seat, it was personal this time for me, and honestly of all the memories I have from working at Disney, that one is still the most vivid. I will never forget the way that boys face looked when the characters came by him and waved to him. I will never forget the way his parents smiled or how many times his older brother said "this is so cool!". I will always carry that family with me, and it is all because of Make a Wish. So I encourage you to help in anyway that you can to help make these kids dreams and wishes, however big or small, come true.

1 comment:

Melissa said...

We're going to be in Fort Myers that day but I just donated to your team. Great cause!

Related Posts with Thumbnails