Change lives... become a volunteer! 

You can help make the wishes of children with critical illnesses come true in your community when you become a volunteer for Make-A-Wish Illinois. Time commitments and volunteer needs vary by community. Bilingual (English/Spanish speaking) volunteers are most needed. 
More than 1,500+ specifically trained volunteers generously give their time and energy. Our volunteers come from all walks of the community to become involved in the mission through a variety of capacities. 

Your Journey Starts Now

A few steps, and you'll volunteer with Make-A-Wish! 

At every level of the organization, volunteers are critical to the mission. Get started today and soon you can bring hope and joy to area children with critical illnesses as a Make-A-Wish volunteer. 

  1. Attend a volunteer information session - Sit in on a digital webinar, where you'll learn about Make-A-Wish Illinois' mission to grant wishes for children with critical illnesses and how you can help. Find the upcoming dates on our events page, and click their links to register. 

  1. Fill out application - Once you have attended a webinar, you will receive a link to complete the volunteer application from a Make-A-Wish staff member. This is used as a preliminary screening tool, and incomplete applications will not be considered. 

  1. Chat with a volunteer - After we receive your completed application, you will speak with a current volunteer to get your questions answered and allow us to learn more about you and your interests in a more personal way. 

  1. Submit your paperwork - After your conversation, you will be asked to complete a criminal background check and submit final paperwork. 

  1. Welcome! - You are officially now a volunteer for Make-A-Wish Illinois! You are an integral part of delivering the mission of Make-A-Wish Illinois. 

Individual Volunteer Roles

​​​​​​​Event Volunteers

Lend their time to help with Make-A-Wish events. Event volunteers roll up their sleeves to do a variety of event support that helps raise funds and creates awareness about Make-A-Wish. 

Office Volunteers 

Assist with various projects at our Chicago, Peoria, and Springfield offices, including phone calls, research, mailings, etc. Perfect for volunteers with daytime availability who live near one of the three Make-A-Wish Illinois offices.

Outreach Volunteers

Interact with interested parties at volunteer recruitment and medical outreach events with the intent of recruiting more volunteers or identifying prospective Wish Children.

Social Media Ambassadors 

Share Make-A-Wish crafted posts with followers on social media to help promote important initiatives and programs.


Help facilitate wish experiences for non-English-speaking families. Translators attend wish visits and do participate in phone calls but are not directly involved in planning the wish. Additional training required for this role.

Wish Granters

Work with a partner to meet with the child and their family to help determine the heart of that child’s wish, and then work with Make-A-Wish staff to make that wish a reality. Additional training required for this role.

Wish Family Ambassadors

Represent Make-A-Wish Illinois at a number of external outreach and fundraising events to share their wish experience. Open to Wish Alumni and their families.

Wish Type Experts

Assists staff and wish granting volunteers with the execution of non-travel wishes by researching wish feasibility, identifying and stewarding potential vendors, securing in-kind to reduce overall cash cost, and providing logistical support for the wish day celebrations.

Committee Roles

Please note that volunteer committees operate on separate recruiting schedules and may not always be looking for new volunteers. For more information in individual committees, please email the appropriate staff member under the committee description.

Associate Board

Unites young professionals to support the mission through event-based fundraising and spreading awareness in the community, especially among Generation X and Millennials. For more information contact Kara Pietrowski at [email protected].

Regional Councils

Assists with fundraising, medical outreach and community relations efforts on behalf of Make-A-Wish Illinois in local communities. Councils include volunteers who are leaders in their respective communities.

Regional Councils are active in the Bloomington, Champaign, Edwardsville, Peoria, Quincy, Rock Island and Springfield areas. For more information reach out to Janet Glavin at [email protected] or Laura Huerta at [email protected].

The Chicago Neighborhood Council focuses on efforts in Chicago's Austin, Little Village, North Lawndale, Pilsen and Hyde Park neighborhoods.  For information, contact Rebecca Chacon at [email protected]

Wish Ball Committee

Works to plan and execute Wish Ball, the signature fundraising event for Make-A-Wish Illinois. Wish Ball is held annually in Chicago. For more information contact Kara Pietrowski at [email protected].

Women's Network

Provides support, community outreach, ambassadorship, and fundraising for Make-A-Wish Illinois. The Women’s Network annually sponsors events to raise awareness, promote wish family engagement, and to conduct fundraising for the organization. For more information contact Laura Stepnicka at [email protected].

Walk Committees

Walk For Wishes® is a fundraiser that celebrates past wishes and raises fund for future wishes. The Walk For Wishes Committees serve as the visionaries and implementers for each local event. These leadership roles are very important to us and will work year-round to engage the community in exciting and new ways! There are opportunities to join the Walk for Wishes event committees in downtown Chicago, suburban Chicago, Champaign, Moline, and Rockford. For more information reach out to Sam Schreiber at [email protected].

Celebrate Our Volunteers

Upcoming Volunteer Events