Friday, June 29, 2012

My Make-A-Wish story

Last semester when I interned with Southwest Airlines, I worked in the Community Relations and Giving department.  The majority of the work I did was with non-profit organizations like the Ronald McDonald House,  It was during that internship that I found my passion for helping kids. I've always had a strong connection with kids, especially since I'm a big kid at heart, but I wanted to make more of an impact in their lives and help them leave their pain and fear behind them and allow them to have fun for a while.  Sure, my job required me to do things for the Ronald McDonald House, but I started volunteering at the Dallas chapter after work and even on weekends. Words cannot describe the feeling I would get when I went home after volunteering.

Well, this time around I work in the Technology Department on the Communications Team with Southwest Airlines.  Now, we really don't get to do the partnering with non-profit organizations like my previous internship, but when the chance came up with the Make-A-Wish Foundation, I jumped right on it!

HP is one of our biggest partners in Technology and they asked us if we could host a Make-A-Wish art party at our Headquarters.  Southwest LUVs to help make wishes come true, so we were more than happy to host!  We had a little less that a dozen WishKids and their families spend the day with us.  We spent the day creating art (bracelets and dining table napkin holders) to be donated to the next Wish Night Auction to help raise money for the cause.  The money that they raise helps fund the kid's wishes.

We took a break after lunch and took a tour around our Headquarters. The kids LUVed that part the most!

Although it wasn't actually granting a kid's wish, it was still so warming to see the smiles on their faces when they were with us.  Knowing that I helped keep their illnesses off of their minds for five hours was one of the best feelings I have ever had on a Thursday at work!

As you will see in the pictures below, I grew very fond of a little 3 year old named Rebekah, and I'm sure the feeling was mutual! Everyone kept smiling and laughing at how she would follow me around like I was the momma duck.  Every where I went, she was one step behind me.  That is one sweet child that I absolutely will never forget!

I hope you enjoy the photos! 

 This is little Rebekah! This is where we first met.

The Wish Kids were making their bracelets for the Wish Night Auction.

This is one of the napkin holders they were making.


Oh, little miss sunshine stealing my heart!  She was asking me to help her make her bracelet.  We made about 7. She picked every thing out and I just pushed it through the wire.

Here's another shot of me helping out Rebekah.

I told her to pose and show off her new bracelet we made that matched her dress! 

Here's all of the Wish Kids in front of our BIG T-SHIRT at SWA! They were so fascinated!!

I could just eat her up!!! She's a true princess!

Bonding time at lunch!

Here's a pic of the group while touring the Flight Attending Training area at Headquarters.



Now this part was so freaking cool!The Flight Attendants have to go through an extensive training process, and they do their drills of emergency evacuations on the "Poolie." It is a simulator that uses hydraulics to mimic take offs, landing, turbulence, etc.

 The Wish Kids LUVed the Poolie!! It was so funny to watch their faces during the landing!

Here are some of the napkin holders they made.

They are very talented in the bracelet making category! 

Here's a shot of of the kids!

Last but not least, a group photo with yours truly!

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