Maura Harty, President and CEO of the Mid-Atlantic Chapter of Make-A-Wish Foundation of America
Maura Harty served for 27 years as a foreign service offer, mentioned the privelage of being a public servant and is thrilled to be speaking today. She was extremely grateful and asked the audience to give themselves a round of applause for all the great work that public servants do. I second that.
"What You Do Matters, everyday," Harty stated - and then started telling some great stories from Make - A -Wish. Maura started off by telling that the a few weeks ago she was with a child who's wish was to see big trucks - so he was taken to a construction site. The child was taken to the construction site across the street from the Grand Hyatt in Washington DC, where the conference is taking place. The child was able to get a full tour of the construction site, two days before hurricane Irene. The construction site workers gave the child all the attention in the world, and gave him the chance to see all the trucks and work. At the end of the day, Maura mentioned she wasn't sure if the construction workers or the child had more fun.
What do wishes look like? Maura identified numerous categories,
"I want to be..."
"I wish to have..
"I want to meet.."
"I want to go.."
"I want to see.."
New trends are emerging in wishes, that is the trend of giving back - which is so inspiring. One child wished to put a science lab in his school, another wanted to give new uniforms to the high school team. Make-A-Wish now serves many kids that are thriving and healthy, there are 62 chapters around the United States. They function through robust partnerships with the medical community and social services, and work with the community to raise funds and awareness. The Mid-Atalntic covers Maryland, Delware, DC, and Viriginia. Donations to the mid-Atlantic stay in the community and this year had a record breaking 403 wishes granted this year.
The Make-A-WIsh Foundation has over 100 "Wish Ambassadors," who are volunteers. The average wish is about $7,500 dollars in the Mid - Atlantic region. Every day a donation is made, people are able to help people make a childs wish come true. Maura expressed what a privelage it is to be on a team that the wish experience is life affirming, proving a community cares and inspiring.
Maura showed a great video about Make-A-Wish, which highlighed some of the stars that have taken part in the Make-A-Wish Community. Including, Donald Trump, various athletes, NBA players, international, flying in helicoptes, driving boats, wrestling, looney tunes, police officers - it was a great video to watch. One child even was shown driving a tank and another handing out parking tickets. The video was very well put together, and showed what a great program the Make-A-Wish Foundation is and the importance of their work.
Maura mentioned how inspiring the children are and how they inspire her to be the strongest advocate for the childrens goals. Maura quoted Martin Luther King Jr, "The fierce urgency of now."