Make-A-Wish Australia is calling on the Newcastle community to help make wishes come true for sick kids.
Make-A-Wish has been granting wishes for children with life-threatening illnesses since 1985. It has granted 8000 wishes in that time and receives new applications every day.
The Hunter Valley Make-A-Wish volunteer branch has previously granted wishes in the Newcastle area, but more local volunteers are now being called on with a record number of children in Newcastle waiting for their wish to come true.
Hunter Valley branch volunteer Tammy Mazzoni said there were more than 20 kids in Newcastle waiting for wishes to be realised and encouraged others to follow her lead and donate their time.
“I’ve been volunteering for Make-A-Wish for many years and I love it,” Ms Mazzoni said. “Knowing that by donating just a little of my time I’m helping bring excitement and joy to a very sick child gives me such a sense of pride and happiness.”
Ms Mazzoni is one of just seven active members of the Hunter Valley branch, which covers Newcastle, Hunter Valley and the Central Coast.
“The son of one of my very good friends was the first wish child in the Hunter Valley, and unfortunately he passed,” Ms Mazzoni said.
“It was one thing that gave them hope. It gives them something to look forward to when they are going through such a rough time.
“She was one of the first members as well so she got me involved about six years ago. We are just trying to get the word out there now.”
Volunteers go out in pairs to houses to capture each child’s wish. Then they work to try to bring the wish together.
“I have a small boy now myself and I think how amazing would it be for him to have his wish if something like that had ever happened to him,” she said.
“Not everyone has to go to the home visits. It’s very confronting sometimes, but people can be involved just by helping us raise money or even just by getting the word out, or by helping with office roles.”
There will be a volunteer training session in Newcastle in late October.
Contact Tess Melville on 03 9426 0723 or firstname.lastname@example.org for information.