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Brett Polen

Childhood experience encouraged Brett to become a wish granter

As a child, Brett’s parents introduced him to Make-A-Wish® during the holiday season. Shortly before turning 21, Brett began the process of becoming a wish-granting volunteer.

“Around Christmas time, my mom gave me the option of donating a pair of gloves to the church Christmas tree or to make a donation to Make-A-Wish,” Brett said. “Once I learned what Make-A-Wish did, I immediately fell in love with their mission.”

Now 28, Brett has volunteered on more than 15 wishes since 2013, and he particularly enjoys putting together the welcome home gatherings and wish enhancement packages.

“[The welcome home gatherings] gives my wish kids a chance to tell me all the stories about their trip, show me pictures and tell me how much fun they had,” Brett said. “I also enjoy sending care packages to the family before a trip to help keep everyone busy on the plane and pass the time.”

In addition to wish granting, Brett joined the Lansing area volunteer group to help host holiday and summer events for Lansing area wish families. Professionally, Brett works in leadership development and assists roughly 35 universities in the Midwest with training programs to operate efficient student organizations.

Brett had the opportunity to meet a wish kid while working at a college. The undergraduate student shared his memories of his wish experience, which made Brett realize even more so how essential and life-changing a wish is to a child and their family.

“To me, Make-A-Wish is an organization that gives kids the chance to stop thinking about their next treatment date and instead look forward to their wish,” Brett said. “Make-A-Wish is an organization that lets kids be kids again.”

Once I learned what Make-A-Wish did, I immediately fell in love with their mission ”

— Brett, wish-granting volunteer

Wish-granting volunteer Brett Polen

Wish-granting volunteer Brett Polen

Make-A-Wish® Michigan
7600 Grand River Avenue
Suite 175
Brighton, MI 48114
(734) 994-8620
Toll Free Michigan Only (800) 622-9474
Make-A-Wish® Michigan, Grand Rapids Office
648 Monroe Ave NW
Suite 104
Grand Rapids, MI 49503
(616) 363-4607
Toll Free (877) 631-9474