I was sitting at a conference for an organization I hold close to my heart, my college sorority. And then four words came out of the presenter’s mouth: “hope, strength and peace.” For some reason, the first two sounded correct, but the last word, “peace,” caught my mind.
Something was missing.
For the next minute, I searched my brain to find out what else should have been included. And then it made sense.
About a month before that moment I added another word to hope, strength and peace. It was not one of the pillars of my sorority, but instead one of the goals of my place of summer interning, Make-A-Wish® America.
The Make-A-Wish mission statement reads, “We grant the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions to enrich the human experience with hope, strength and joy.”
Often, people overlook those words and the impact they have on a wish kid’s life. Sitting in a crowded conference room, my mind wandered to what that short, three-letter noun meant.
Hope means looking towards the future with positivity. Strength is to take on what may lay ahead. But including joy in the wish experience encompasses more than the ability to take on the future. It’s to change a kid’s life by reintroducing them to the simple and unfettered happiness of childhood. And it’s not confined to a single day of wish fulfillment.
The wish experience is not simply about a liberating experience, meeting an idol, having a new toy or exploring a new destination. It is about the preparation and anticipation for a wish, the exact, ecstatic moment a wish occurs and the years spent reliving that wish.
It is about joy.