Wish Nation

Kristina Rhodes: One-Woman Make-A-Wish Machine

Kristina Rhodes
You might be tempted to call Kristina Rhodes a one-woman “Make-A-Wish machine.” A resident and realtor in Evansville, Ind., Kristina knew about Make-A-Wish through her mother who had volunteered in Ft. Wayne. When Kristina learned there was only one other Make-A-Wish volunteer in her region, she discovered her passion and got to work.

Kristina is inspired and energized by the children she meets who have life-threatening medical conditions. Their courage in the face of incredible suffering and life challenges motivates Kristina to make sure local Make-A-Wish kids who cross her path get amazing wish experiences; wishes that even surpass their fondest desires.

Kristina RhodesHer work with wish kids has expanded to include a rigorous campaign to raise awareness of the Make-A-Wish mission in her region. Kristina is also part of the development of a regional council for the Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana chapter, which serves as a model for other chapters in the organization. Not only does Kristina grant wishes, but her fundraising efforts have raised nearly half a million dollars in actual dollars and donated goods and services. This has significantly impacted the number of wishes the chapter can grant.

Real Kids, Real Impact

Emily is one of the wish kids that Kristina holds in her heart.  Emily was too ill for Make-A-Wish to grant her original cruise wish, so Kristina went to work on her alternate wish: to have a dog from a local animal shelter. The entire experience of Kristina’s relationship with Emily and her family through the months of the wish experience and Emily’s ultimately fatal illness has had a powerful effect on Emily’s family. Emily’s mother, Tracy, told RealtorMag* “Kristina is a fantastic volunteer; as soon as she walked into the room, I knew I was going to like her. She’s so personable and so sweet. She lives and breathes [Make-A-Wish], and she absolutely loves these kids.”

Today’s modern medical breakthroughs mean that more and more wish kids survive their childhood afflictions. While Emily did not, the impact of the wish experience lives on with her family. And for the children that do survive, the wish very often becomes a crucial touch point in their lives, sometimes even guiding their career choice.

Volunteers Make It All Possible

Volunteers like Kristina are the beating heart of the Make-A-Wish mission. She is among the 25,000-plus fabulous volunteers who make it possible for us to serve every community in the United States. Together, they make it possible for us to grant wishes that change lives.

*Kristina was recently a “Good Neighbor Awards” winner because of her incredible volunteer spirit and her work with Make-A-Wish. 

About this Blog

Wish Nation gives you a behind-the-scenes look at Make-A-Wish®. See how wishes come together and how they change lives forever. Hear directly from those who work or volunteer here, or those who have been transformed by a wish. And learn why we are so committed to someday granting the wish of every eligible child, every year.

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