Katrina Kaufman began as a volunteer for Make-A-Wish® Michigan 11 years ago after her niece was born with cerebral palsy and other illnesses.
“She had only lived 20 months, however, during that time our family received a lot of support for her care,” Katrina explained. “If Aaliya had lived longer she would have been a wish kid, so to honor her I decided to volunteer with Make-A-Wish, and it was the best decision I ever made.”
In addition to volunteering at a variety of events including the Wish-A-Mile® Bicycle Tour and most recently the 2015 Wish Ball – Southeast Michigan, Katrina is first and foremost a wish-granting volunteer.
“Over the years I have really seen how Make-A-Wish has had a profound impact on so many family's lives that I couldn’t imagine no longer being a part of that,” Katrina said. “Being a part of the Make-A-Wish family is really an honor for me. There is nothing more fulfilling than to be a small part of making a kid smile through a difficult time. When parents with tears in their eyes thank you for what Make-A-Wish does, my heart rejoices because there is no greater joy than to know you’ve made a difference.”
Not only does she feel like she has made a lasting impact on wish kids and their families, Katrina believes that she has made a network of friends through Make-A-Wish. The Lansing area volunteer group, which Katrina is a member of, consists of more than 20 dedicated volunteers who support the Make-A-Wish mission whether it’s helping at an event or as a wish granter.
“I mostly partner with the Lansing area volunteer group because if I sign up for a wish and need a partner, I can reach out to them and someone always steps up,” Katrina said. “I do enjoy meeting and working with new volunteers though and hope we can expand our network of volunteers in the Lansing area.”