Why I Volunteer: Brian's Story
A couple of years ago, Brian Vasquez of Barrington, a successful professional with a growing family, was feeling grateful for the many good things in his life and began looking for ways to give back in his community. He explored several charities and found that the Make-A-Wish focus on hope really resonated with him.
“I have three healthy kids and as I read stories about what wish kids have overcome, I knew I could help,” Brian said. “I’m a fairly upbeat and positive person, so the thought of being able to put a smile on kid’s faces and provide hope was appealing to me.”
He found his first wish to be a phenomenal experience. Paired with a seasoned volunteer, he really enjoyed learning all of the small touches that make the full wish journey an impactful experience for the wish child and their family.
“For my first wish we planned a surprise reveal at Top Golf, and it was really incredible to see our wish child’s face light up when he realized he’d be going to Hawaii,” Brian said. He and his wish partner also planned a fun sendoff party closer to the wish and then enjoyed catching up with the family when they returned.
Excited by this fulfilling experience, Brian got hooked and is eager to grant even more wishes. Since last year Brian and his partner have granted another wish for girl to have a puppy and have one more in the planning stages. He’s particularly motivated by being a part of something positive wish kids can focus on while dealing with a critical illness. It was this enthusiasm that led him to getting involved in Walk for Wishes.
“This event is a neat way to share with my friends what I love about Make-A-Wish,” Brian said. “I love bringing everyone together for a good cause and showing them how easy it is to give back.”
A competitive spirit, Brian won “Rookie of the Year” at last year’s Walk for Wishes event at Busse Woods for leading his team in incredible fundraising. And though this year’s walk is virtual, Brian’s team is at it again and already leading the pack in raising funds to create life-changing wishes for children with critical illnesses. He’s so motivated because he has seen first hand how wishes can make a difference.
"Volunteering has helped me to step back and appreciate the good things I have in my life."