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Wish Blog

Jul 15, 2019

From College Student to Make-A-Wish Intern: Barb Heidkamp

Barb
We recently sat down with Make-A-Wish Interns and asked a couple questions about their experiences. This week’s featured intern is Barb Heidkamp who works with our Marketing and Communications team.
Barb spoke on why interning at Make-A-Wish was a unique opportunity and she stated that there are genuine feelings behind the mission. She’s had friends and family members both who have been granted wishes and feels that when they spoke of Make-A-Wish, “It was so clear that they had immediate feelings of hope,” said Barb. Continuing talking about this opportunity, she stated that this organization was full of kindhearted people that truly care about what they do, which Barb stated was “pretty amazing.” 

Barb experienced the impact of a wish firsthand when her brother’s one true wish to perform at Vans Warped Tour came true. Ever since that time, she’s wanted to be a part of Make-A-Wish. Barb was in the fifth grade when her brother’s wish came true, and she stated that the wish granters came into their home and they immediately became part of their family. She said, “They made every moment magical down to each individual detail.” Barb was given a Hannah Montana slap bracelet, which was one of the smallest parts of this memory, but has kept it ever since because it reminds her of how important the little things are in life. Because of her family’s situation, Barb was forced to grow up quickly, but stated “Make-A-Wish was able to give me a little more magic in my childhood.” 

Ever since that experience with her brother, Barb has been wanting to give that hope back to other wish families, and her Make-A-Wish internship was a perfect fit for her. Barb’s first impression of the local chapter came from the early conversations she had with people in the office. The first thing she noticed was the creativity everyone had and their readiness to go above and beyond in every way possible to make a direct impact on the lives of the children they serve. Barb said that she’ll “never forget” being asked to work in the conference room with the marketing team and instantaneously feeling as if she was a part of the team. She said that “This place is the perfect environment for creativity because of the people that fill it.”

After experiencing her brother’s wish, she said she’s most looking forward to seeing wishes granted because it’s something she’s experienced herself. “I think it would be so heartwarming to be part of someone’s day that they will remember forever.” She also stated that she’s looking forward to seeing something she created being used in the real world, and her ideas being shared for something so meaningful. 

Barb was asked what it means to be a part of an organization that is constantly impacting the lives of children and their families at Make-A-Wish. Her response was about what she calls, the circle of giving. “Experiencing my brother’s wish come true made me realize how significant the impact is on everyone involved. I think the wish kids are so resilient and are the real heroes here. I laugh knowing that some wish kids want to meet celebrities, but in my mind the wish kids are the real stars. I don’t think they’ll ever know they’re impacting us as much as we are them. It’s an amazing circle to be a part of.” 

When talking about her future, Barb mentions that she thought about going to graduate school for special education, but after interning at Make-A-Wish, she thinks that the nonprofit sector and marketing is the perfect “sweet spot” for creativity and being able to feel good about what she does.

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Ballwin, MO 63021
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