Laura Shaw is like any other Port Orchard resident. But what makes her different is the time she spends making wishes coming true for children with life-threatening medical conditions.
Since 2010, Laura has been a Make-A-Wish Washington volunteer and she has helped grant 11 wishes to local children.
While Make-A-Wish Washington requests volunteers to complete two wishes each year, Laura is already on her third in 2013.
She is working on four wishes for children in the Greater Seattle Metro area. Because of confidentiality, Laura couldn’t disclose any details of the wishes.
“I volunteered to be a wish-granting volunteer because I want to help provide this wonderful feeling for children with life threatening illnesses by making their one true wish come true,” Laura said. “To see how these wishes make a difference in these children’s lives by providing hope, strength and joy is truly an indescribable experience.”
During her time as a volunteer, Laura has help granted wishes for trips to Disney World and Disneyland, Hawaii and other places. Other wishes have included shopping spree and celebrity wishes.
“Then there are really unique wishes,” Laura said. “Like the one I did for a little girl named Emily whose wish was to transform her backyard into a campground. So there are always lots of different kind of wishes to work on.”
Laura said she approaches each wish uniquely and doesn’t look at any being more difficult than the next.
“They are all unique experiences,” she said. “It’s exciting to me to think about how I can make them unique and memorable for each child and family.”
Laura owns Glamour Girls Kids Parties, a company that provides customized themed parties for girls birthday parties such as Glamour Girl, Dancing Diva, Fairy Fun and Pretty Princess.
“I love to put smiles on the children’s faces by making them feel special and creating memories to last a lifetime” Laura added “Whether it’s helping grant a wish for a wish child or making a child’s birthday one they will always remember.”
“Laura is a wonderful volunteer and we wish we could clone her,” said Julie McClave, volunteer manager at Make-A-Wish Washington.
McClave said more volunteers are needed in the area. There are currently 19 children who are waiting for their wishes.
Laura said volunteering at Make-A-Wish is unlike any other volunteering experience.
“Volunteering with Make-A-Wish had been like no other volunteer position at other non-profits,” she said. “There is a magical feeling at Make-A-Wish.”
She said everyone pulls together with their time and talents to make wishes come true.
A recent survey of Make-A-Wish volunteers revealed that 97 percent of them reported feeling more grateful and thankful as a result of helping to grant a wish.
It often takes McClave five to six attempts to find a volunteer willing to work on wishes in our South Sound area because the demand is greater than our current volunteer resources.
“Many children are still waiting for volunteers to make their greatest wish come true.” she added.
For more information about volunteering for Make-A-Wish Washington, visit nwwishes.org or call McClave at 206-623-5300.