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Wish Blog

My Reasons Why - Heidi Klein

Heidi Staff Photo
Meet the faces behind the mission. We sat down with the individuals behind the scenes to find out why they chose to dedicate their time and talent to granting the wishes of children with critical illnesses. Today's spotlight focuses on Chief Philanthropy Officer, Heidi Klein.

Q: Why did you decide to join the mission of Make-A-Wish?

A: Prior to coming to Make-A-Wish, I’d spent my professional career serving children and families in private schools.  Working for Make-A-Wish allows me to continue that calling with a new twist.  It’s a privilege to share the Make-A-Wish mission with anyone who demonstrates interest.  I feel the most “at home” in the non-profit arena.  It forces you to be hungry, humble and smart for sure, as there are copious problems to solve and limited resources available to make those solutions happen.

Q: What is the most rewarding experience you’ve had with Make-A-Wish?

A: Hearing from a donor nearly three months after sending her a hand-written expression of gratitude for her first ever gift in support of Make-A-Wish has to be up there on my list of things that make me so optimistic about the work we’re doing to secure the resources necessary to grant wishes.  She was moved by the note and I, in turn, was moved by her story.  Witnessing that same donor’s joy and awe as she felt truly honored to be part of Peyton’s wish coming true at the first premiere of the film “Courage Unleashed” in which he played the starring role was something I’ll never forget.  At 80+years old, she high-fived him along the red carpet, stood in a long line to receive an autographed copy of the movie poster, and hasn’t stopped thanking me for inviting her to be part of that experience.

Q: What has been your favorite part in working with Make-A-Wish?

A: So, besides thanking people by phone, by note, by email…in person, my favorite aspect of my role is inviting people to be part of the experience—to partner with us in transforming lives.  I had a corporate executive run up and hug me at our Walk for Wishes.  He exclaimed: “Make-A-Wish is transforming more than kids’ lives; our office environment will never be the same, as unifying around our fundraising efforts for Walk has transformed our office culture.  Thank you!”  When our mission resonates, and people want to partner with us, it’s a win-win!  I love that!

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