Make-A-Wish Wyoming Announces 2022 Volunteer of the Year

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Sandi Riley, 2022 Make-A-Wish Wyoming Volunteer of the Year. Photo courtesy of Make-A-Wish Wyoming.

Wyo4News Staff, [email protected] [PRESS RELEASE]

December 6, 2022 – Make-A-Wish Wyoming is pleased to announce the 2022 volunteer of the year. Congratulations to Sandi Riley of Cheyenne! Sandi, recognized at the Stories of Light Gala in November, has created magical moments for over 13 wish kids in her 11 years as a Make-A-Wish Wyoming volunteer.

A wish impacts the lives of wish kids, their families, our communities, and the people who make a wish happen through their generous support of our mission. Sandi is a wish mom herself and she will never forget what Make-A-Wish Wyoming did for her family. Her previous experience as Wish mom gives her a special connection to the Make-A-Wish mission and the families she works with. Deciding to become a volunteer 11 years ago was an easy choice for Sandi.

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“I wanted to give back as a volunteer, but I felt like I had so much more to give because I knew firsthand what these families were going through. It’s so rewarding being a volunteer, from having had a child with cancer of my own, to meeting other wish families and kids, and seeing their smiling faces when the wishes are granted.”

Sandi found herself with a heart full of gratitude when she learned she was honored as the Volunteer of the Year. That feeling of gratefulness is what inspires her to continue to help others going through tough times have a positive experience through a wish.

“I’m totally honored and thankful. This was never expected. My heart was so full being honored as Volunteer of the Year at the Gala as well as seeing the wish kids’ smiling faces and having fun. So, to be a part of that and be named Volunteer of the Year was just amazing,” says Sandi.

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It’s hard to say what her favorite part of being a volunteer is as each wish and kid is different than the last. If she had to choose the best parts about the wish experience are getting to tell the family their wish has been granted and then finally getting to reveal the wish once it all comes together. She loves meeting the family and seeing all the joy a wish can bring. From start to finish, every wish is different and provides a new opportunity to make a small impact in a child’s life.

“It’s not always just about the wish. The first time I meet a wish kid and hear their stories is one of my favorite parts of being a volunteer.”

At the heart of those wishes are the people who give their time and talents to create memorable wishes for Wyoming wish kids. Volunteers get to the heart of the child’s wish and guide them on their wish journey from being the first person they meet with Make-A-Wish to creating a wish celebration for them when their wish is granted. If you’re interested in being a volunteer, Make-A- Wish Wyoming has volunteer opportunities in Casper and Gillette. Visit www.wish.org/wyoming/volunteer to learn about opportunities and to apply.

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