Spectators at Wish Jump 2012, waiting for the Wish Jumpers to float from the sky.
When people hear that I’m going skydiving, the response is usually something along the lines of, ”Aren’t you scared?!! There’s no way you could get me to jump out of a plane.”
This will be my fourth skydive, the third as part of the Wish Jump annual fundraiser for Make-A-Wish Northeast New York. The truth is, I find the fundraising more nerve-racking than jumping out of a plane 10,000 feet in the air. We are about two and a half weeks away from the event which takes place on Saturday, July 27th at Saratoga Skydiving Adventures in Gansevoort, New York. We are almost at $15,000, which is almost half of our overall goal of $35,000. This makes me nervous.
I hate asking people to donate money. Not only do I understand that money is very tight for many people, but I also know that every time you turn around, someone is asking for a donation for something. I hate to be one more outstretched hand, and can hear people saying to themselves, “Enough is enough! Leave me alone already!”
At the same time, I’m a bit of a risk taker. I’m willing to risk the chance of annoying you, being deleted as a Facebook friend, and having you talk behind my back about what a pain in the ass I am, and how I’m “always asking for something” as I embark on this event and all that comes with it. Why? My father once told me that you’ll never get anything in life if you don’t ask for it. This is true, whether it’s a raise, a date, or someone to drop off your dry-cleaning because you simply don’t have another minute in your schedule to get there before the seasons change. If I don’t ask you to consider donating to this event, then I’m missing out on the chance that you’ll say, “Yes, I’d be happy to.”
Another reason I’m willing to risk being a huge annoyance, is because I know how the money donated will be used. Make-A-Wish Northeast New York grants the heartfelt wishes of children and teens living in the 518 area code who have life-threatening medical conditions. Kids that live right here in our communities. More importantly, wishes are powerful. They give kids and teens that might be going through difficult treatments something positive, fun, and exciting to look forward to. I ask people to look at it this way – think about how you feel when you have something fun planned in your future, like an upcoming vacation, or even just a weekend when you can try out that new fishing rod. Having something that you enjoy to look forward to makes the other not-so-fun stuff in life more tolerable, doesn’t it? Imagine what it’s like for a child with a life-threatening illness to know that when chemo is over, or when they’re healed from surgery, they will get to meet their favorite rock band or Disney princess, or travel to Alaska to go fishing with Dad. Wishes bring hope, strength, and joy.
I’m a volunteer wish granter and next week I will accompany my current wish family to the airport, as they embark on a trip to Disney World. Their three year old son spent the first year of his life in Boston Children’s Hospital, and underwent twelve surgeries before his first birthday. Every detail of the trip is planned and paid for by Make-A-Wish, from the moment the limousine picks them up at their door, until they return home a week later. This will be their first family vacation. A trip like this is possible thanks to the many donors who support Make-A-Wish Northeast New York. So yeah, I’m willing to risk annoying you by asking if you’ll consider passing on that trip to Dunkin’ Donuts and donating the $5 instead.
Many people think that a $5 donation isn’t worth making. This could not be further from the truth, period, end of story. In the words of Forrest Gump, that’s all I have to say about that.
Lastly, I truly appreciate every dollar donated, and so do the rest of the Wish Jumpers. Like I said, I know that we are among many people and organizations looking for your support. The success of this event would not be possible without the generosity of Make-A-Wish NENY’s donors. More importantly, the wishes granted by the local chapter would not be possible without your support. Wishes DO come true because of you.
If you would like to donate to this event, you may do so by going to our fundraising page at events.org. You may donate on behalf of a particular Wish Jumper, or you may select the “General Donations” option. If you are a business and would like to be a sponsor, check out the info on this site under our “Sponsors” tab, or contact Mary Kenney at email@example.com Thank you so much for your support.
~ Mary Kenney, Event Organizer