MAY FEATURED VOLUNTEER
From a young age volunteer Christy Serrano has had a strong passion for helping children in need. Originally from Houston, Texas, Christy began volunteering in high school as a Spanish speaking volunteer for children staying at Shriner's Hospital. After moving to Evanston to attend Northwestern University, Christy says she wanted to spend more time giving back to the community and continues to work with children. In 2006 she joined Make-A-Wish Illinois as a wish-granting volunteer. Since then, Christy has taken on the leadership role of Wish Captain for all of our Spanish speaking families statewide along with continuing as an outstanding wish granter and mentor to new volunteers. Her dedication to the Make-A-Wish mission along with her outstanding efforts working with our bilingual wish granters to ensure high quality wishes are the reasons why she has been selected as our Volunteer of the Month.
As a bilingual wish granter, wish mentor and wish captain, Christy is incredibly inspired by the wish families and her fellow volunteers.
"In addition to being able to interact with families and children, I know that volunteering for Make-A-Wish is always time well spent," Christy said. "Volunteers are given the tools and support to really influence and drive quality wish experiences for families in Illinois. While this is a huge responsibility, I value that the role of the wish granter is critical to the mission of Make-A-Wish and that everything I put my time into is incredibly meaningful."
Christy also emphasizes the importance of bilingual wish granters explaining: "It's been my experience that the Spanish speaking wish families are amongst the most vulnerable families served by Make-A-Wish. Part of the wish granter's responsibility for delivering high quality wish experiences to these families is helping them navigate institutions or situations which they have never encountered, or maybe have avoided due to their lack of English language experience."
Our Spanish speaking Wish families feel supported and empowered in confronting unfamiliar territory because of bilingual volunteers like Christy.
One of Christy's favorite Make-A-Wish memories was hosting a toy drive at Northwestern for a wish child whose mother was not able to provide Christmas presents for her three children. Over the course of two weeks, Christy was able to collect an entire car full of presents and gift cards donated by fellow students and staff at the university. She personally delivered them to the family's apartment and made it a Christmas that they would never forget!
"I was happy to help provide some extra comfort and happiness to the whole wish family during a time of financial distress," says Christy.
Make-A-Wish Illinois recognizes Christy for her outstanding efforts and leadership in helping grant the wishes of so many Illinois children. The Make-A-Wish mission would not be possible without the support of all of our amazing volunteers.
Make-A-Wish Illinois is always in need of bilingual Wish Granters. If you or someone you know is interested in becoming a wish granter contact Dan White at email@example.com or 312.602.9440.
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