MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Any child who has had chemotherapy gets to make a wish with Make-A-Wish Minnesota.
There are so many ways to get involved and help make these wishes a reality, and one includes a commitment of only a few hours.READ MORE: How Much Should You Pay For A Babysitter?
Meet and Greeters help families start off their wish with a smile. They make sure the child or family is taken care of as they are heading to the airport and when they arrive home.
“Today we’re at the airport and we’re going to meet Alex’s family before they head off to Alaska,” Meet & Greet volunteer Carlene said.
Alex Schlenk and his family are heading to Alaska for a week of fishing, hiking and exploring. At 17 years old, fly fishing in Alaska is something he has always wanted to do.
“[Fly fishing is] something I’ve wanted to do a lot,” Alex said. “I’ve fly fished around here, but you don’t get the salmon you do there.”
As Meet and Greet volunteers, it’s our job to make sure he gets there safely.
“First and foremost we want to make sure to keep the families on time,” Carlene said. “We don’t want them to miss their flight, otherwise the wish is a total wash.”
Alex and his family are pros, but for some Make-A-Wish families the airport is a whole new experience.READ MORE: Powers Propels Lynx To 84-78 Victory Over Liberty
“A lot of our families have never traveled before,” Carlene said. “So just being somebody that can help them navigate the airport, through security and to get them where they need to go.”
For Carlene, being a Meet and Greeter is one of her favorite parts of working with Make-A-Wish.
“I love being a Meet and Greet volunteer,” she said. “I just love coming to the airport and being around all the hustle and bustle of the travelers. When they leave I love hearing about all the things they’re looking forward to.”
Without a doubt, that was our favorite part, too.
As part of Alex’s wish, he went on a shopping spree at Cabella’s beforehand to get him all the gear he needs.
The timing of the trip worked out well because Alex is fighting lymphoma and will be getting a bone marrow transplant sometime in the next few months.
The miles that helped send Alex and his family to Alaska were donated through WCCO’s Wishes in Flight Drive, which has raised over 33 million miles, a national record, in the past two years.MORE NEWS: Donate To The Salvation Army's Flood Relief Effort
To help send other families on their wishes, visit wcco.com/accomplishmn.