Most people in Chicago know Peggy Kusinski from her work as a television sports reporter or from her days discussing sports on radio stations in Chicago. However, there is a group of children who know her more like a fairy godmother through her work with the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Illinois.
Peggy began volunteering as a wish granter in 1999, a role where she and another volunteer would meet with wish children and their families to determine and plan the experience through the Make-A-Wish Foundation. From helping kids realize their dreams to visit Walt Disney World to a special little girl who wished to walk, Peggy would encourage the children to share whatever vision they had so she and the Make-A-Wish Foundation could make it come true.
"I used to think I was busy, having a bad day, or stressed out over work. Then I started volunteering as a wish granter. The children and teens I worked with reminded me to smile, laugh, and enjoy the moment. They are a gift to all of us -- their smiles, their joy, their happiness. They are the reason I volunteered. I never returned home feeling sad, the kids won't allow it. It's always exciting and a thrill to put a smile on their faces, and go home with one too!
After ten years, Peggy retired from wish granting but remains involved with the Foundation, serving as an emcee at Make-A-Wish events and helping to produce special video projects. Peggy lent a hand with the chapter’s 20th Anniversary planning and produced a public service advertising spot marking that milestone. The advertisement ran in many Illinois media markets during the anniversary year, helping spread the word about how local children benefit from the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
Peggy continues to share her affection for the work of the Make-A-Wish Foundation whenever she has the chance. She often encounters wish children during her work as a sports journalist when the children meet local sports celebrities, sometimes even covering their stories on air. Additionally, she is always willing to connect the Foundation with her sports and media contacts, showing how much the mission of Make-A-Wish has touched her heart.
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