The Yakima volunteers meet the 2nd Monday of each month at 6 pm at the VFW Hall located at 118 S 5th Ave Yakima, WA 98902.
Walla Walla volunteer monthly meetings, please call 509-502-5396 for time and place of meeting.
Everyone is welcome to attend this informational meeting.
Often times, I get asked how and why I started doing wish granting. Our new marketing partner, Culture Kitten, interviewed me in April to learn all the details. Below is the story they wrote on how and why my wish work began. Hope you enjoy!
Heidi Anderson, Founder and President, Children’s Wishes & Dreams
You’ve all seen the white sign on the corner of 32nd and Nob Hill that says “Children’s Wishes & Dreams”…but what do they do? We talked to Founder, Heidi Anderson, to see what inspired her to create this non-profit organization that would grant children their “wishes and dreams.”A long time dancer, Heidi ran her own dance studio in Yakima for many years. A very sweet four-year old dance student wanted nothing more than to dance forever. At this young age, she was diagnosed with leukemia and began the long road of treatments. Throughout her recovery from chemotherapy, she would wear her Mickey Mouse ears on her head and a mask if needed when counts were low. Heidi and the girl's mom would arrange for private dance lessons if needed, so she could continue her dancing between treatments. She loved Mickey Mouse, and dreamt of going to Disneyland to see Mickey!
The leukemia was proving to be quite the defiant dance partner, so the next step was to receive a bone marrow transplant in Seattle. While the family was away, Heidi and the girl's students and families wanted to do something to help this little girl get to Disneyland – to see HER dream come true. They planned and orchestrated an original ballet fundraiser called “Snow White and the Eight Dwarfs” – the girl would be represented by the part of the 8th dwarf. (I bet her name would have been Dancer.) The ballet was cast, music choreographed, costumes made, and the location was chosen, The Little Theatre at Eisenhower High School.
Opening night was beautiful! But there was a sad undertone. You see, the day of the performance, the girl gave her final performance and went on to dance in heaven. Her mom told Heidi that when they got the news that the transplant did not work the two of them were in her hospital room just talking. Since it was a cloudy day in Seattle, her mom began blowing bubbles out the window to help the girl take her mind off of everything. The little girl, who had such an incredibly positive outlook on life, her family, and dancing, would find something in each and every day that was special. On this day, she said, “See mom, bubbles look pretty on a cloudy day.”
To remember the girl, Heidi asked everyone to blow bubbles for the girl at the park the day after the performance. Sometime later, seeing a display for a wish organization, Heidi said, “That is what I want to do, I want to be able to ensure that no other child’s wish floats away like the bubbles on a cloudy day…” and that began her wish work.
Children’s Wishes & Dreams came 14 years later when she decided to leave another wish organization with the clear goal that the money raised here in Yakima, would stay here for our local children with life-threatening illnesses or severe life-altering conditions.
Children’s Wishes & Dreams is a completely volunteer non-profit organization with a Board of Directors, and since their inception in 2005 they have granted 137 wishes, supported solely by donations from individuals, families and our community businesses.