Q&A with Holly Thomas, Vice President of Corporate Alliances, Make-A-Wish® America
As children, we believe that wishes really can come true — especially when we see a shooting star, or just before blowing out our birthday candles. There’s no doubt or worry that our wish might not happen, there’s just hope.
That’s what wishing gives us, after all.
And no one, not even the stars, grants more wishes than Make-A-Wish®.
Each season, we partner with a charitable organization to share our time, resources and love.
Join us in supporting Make-A-Wish, dedicated to granting the wish of every child diagnosed with a critical illness.
From Sept. 1, 2019, to Feb. 29, 2020, Scentsy will donate $7 USD from the sale of each Disney Tinker Bell: Faith, Trust & Pixie Dust – Scentsy Warmer to Make-A-Wish, with a minimum guaranteed donation of $100,000 in the U.S.
To learn more about what your purchase provides children in need, we reached out to Holly Thomas, Vice President of Corporate Alliances at Make-A-Wish. Here’s what she told us:
What does it really mean to grant a child’s wish? Why is it important?
“When a child is diagnosed with a critical illness, the impact is widespread. It can be crippling, overwhelming and difficult for these children and families. At Make-A-Wish, we can help these children and their families experience life beyond their illness — creating life-changing moments that can truly have a long-lasting impact in their lives. It can remind them what they are fighting for and give them the strength to fight that much harder.
“And now, our latest medical research shows that a wish can give kids the resilience they need. Doctors believe that wishes and the entire wish process can have a powerful and essential effect on the well-being and health outcomes of their patients.”
What are some of the most unique wishes you have granted?
“From something as simple as wishing to have a puppy to as elaborate as wishing to be a superhero and save your city, there is no limit to the creativity and uniqueness of each wish. We’ve had kids wish to be a pickle factory worker, to blast off into outer space in a red rocket ship and even to be reunited with a sibling — it’s really hard to choose!
“One of the most recent wishes that I love, though, was granted last year to 3-year-old Sawyer, who wished to have a chicken coop. While literally being cooped up in his hospital bed during leukemia treatments, Sawyer could only think about his pet chickens back home. He became so concerned about their well-being — about being raided by a fox — that his one true wish was to have a permanent space to keep his chickens safe. The most remarkable thing is that even today, the coop continues to be transformative for Sawyer as he continues chemotherapy. And now, instead of feeling anxious or scared about his treatments, Sawyer excitedly brings his doctors a carton of eggs.”
What do wishes mean to families?
“The wish experience is not only for a child battling a critical illness; it is also for the family — for the parents or caregivers, for brothers and sisters. These kids are going through so much, but we can’t forget the families who care for them either. Wishes can help them experience things they may have never been able to experience, to lift their spirits and provide them an opportunity to focus on having fun together and not the challenges of a critical illness.
“I remember Piper’s wish for adaptative ski equipment. Because of her critical illness, Piper wasn’t able to join her parents, Justin and Annie, and little brother, Ethan, on the slopes. Justin wanted to change that for his daughter. When she received her mono-ski, Justin got certified to drive it. Now with her dad guiding her mono-ski, Piper can go right alongside her mom and Ethan, experiencing the wind in her hair and the twists and turns as they glide down the mountain. This wish opened up a world of opportunity for Piper and her family.”
What happens after a child’s wish is granted?
“As doctors work to diagnose and treat critical illnesses, many include a wish as part of the child’s medical treatment plan, because they know it can have a powerful impact. And now, research has shown that wishes can have medical and financial benefits.
“And wishes don’t just end with the experience — for many, wishes live on in their lives both emotionally and physically. If it’s a puppy, the warmth and affection it can bring is a daily reminder. For a child who goes on a trip to Hawaii, it’s the photos, videos and keepsakes that remind him of the special trip. These wishes help kids believe that anything is possible. This helps these kids fight harder and even overcome their illnesses … to grow up. Wish kids like Diana, who grew up and went on to become a radiation therapist — helping kids just like her. She is now even a volunteer at her local chapter.”
How does it feel when you grant a child’s wish?
“To be a part of the wish process is deeply moving and life-changing for everyone involved: staff, volunteers, donors and the community. And, I see this daily with our corporate sponsors at wish reveal parties, wish send-off parties and those who are helping grant wishes. You see it in their smiles, their tears — this radiant light that shines over this child, a family and the whole experience. There is nothing more powerful than helping make a child’s wish come true. The power of giving of our time and talent to create an everlasting experience in these kids and their families’ lives makes what we do so important. It keeps us going, motivated to help grant all those wishes that are waiting.
“This is why our vision is to grant the wish of every eligible child. Right now, we only have the resources to grant wishes for one out of every two eligible children. That’s why supporters like Scentsy are so important to our mission and what we do. We couldn’t reach this vision without you.”
We are Scentsy … and we believe in magic.
Shop to support Make-A-Wish! Contact your Scentsy Consultant to purchase the Disney: Tinker Bell: Faith, Trust & Pixie Dust Warmer. Don’t have a Consultant? Find one here.
We believe happy, healthy families build vibrant communities.
Want to do more? Visit wish.org to find out how to get involved. Then share your stories with #WarmTheHeart.