Drew is a third-year Con-Ed student at Queen’s University as well as a wish-granting volunteer in Kingston. Make-A-Wish® Canada is her favourite charity and she hopes to work for the organization one day. Not only is she a rockstar #fundraisingfoamy and participating in 5K Foam Fest this year for the first time, Drew and her teammate, Mackenzie (a former wish child and child ambassador with Make-A-Wish Eastern Ontario), have committed to raising $10K this summer through various fundraising efforts. Let’s learn more about how Drew got involved with Make-A-Wish and 5K Foam Fest.
Tell me how you got involved with the 5K Foam Fest?
I am a volunteer wish granter in Kingston and we work in teams of two. I heard that a former wish child named Mackenzie attended Queen's University as well, so I connected with her to do wish visits together. We agreed that we wanted to do more than just wish visits this summer, so we decided to do start our own fundraiser. It was a few days later that the 5K Foam Fest appeared on my Facebook timeline. Since all the funds go to Make-A-Wish, we knew we had to participate.
What inspires you about Make-A-Wish and the work we do?
Make-A-Wish is my favourite charity. I am determined to work for head office when I graduate. I love that this organization helps children living with critical illnesses. I have been a wish granter with Eastern Ontario for over a year now and the feeling I get when I meet with families, or I do a wish reveal, is like no other. The families are so sweet and inspiring. Childhood is hard enough without an illness: I couldn't even image what it would be like to have to go through childhood and have a serious illness. The children and families are so strong that they deserve these wishes. They deserve a day or a week where they can forget about the hard times and just focus on being a kid.
What inspired you to create a fundraising page and how did you feel when you committed to raising funds in support of Make-A-Wish?
Meeting the families over this past year really inspired me to create a fundraising page. It is my mission to end up working for Make-A-Wish but since I am still in university, fundraising for the charity and volunteering are the only things I can do. When I teamed up with Mackenzie, we knew that we needed to do more than just fundraise for this event. We decided to do a Wish It Forward. We wanted to dedicate this summer to raising the funds to send a child on his or her wish.
How did you feel when you quickly reached your fundraising goal and who did you ask to sponsor you?
I felt so amazing when I raised my goal. Mackenzie and I are doing multiple fundraisers throughout the summer to fundraise the $10,000 but it was a personal goal of mine to fundraise $1000 completely on my own through Foam Fest. I reached out to my family, friends and teachers to support me. All the people close to me know how passionate I am about this charity, and how I hope to make a career out of it, so they wanted to support me by donating. I could not have done this without the support from my family.
If you could share a message with all the Foam Fest participants (more than 65,000 in Canada!) to inspire them to create a fundraising page, and raise funds in support of Make-A-Wish and the life-changing work we do, what would that message be?
My message to the participants would be that if you create a fundraising page and raise funds for Make-A-Wish you are changing a life forever. You are helping a child feel like a child through this tough time in his or her life. You are giving them the strength they need to fight through their illnesses. The month or two that someone spends fundraising for Make-A-Wish, will change a child’s and family's life forever. I would strongly advise people to read the wish stories on the Make-A-Wish website because they will inspire you.
To make a donation, please visit Drew’s and MacKenzie’s 5K Foam Fest fundraising page: https://makeawishca.donordrive.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=donorDrive.participant&participantID=10126