A presentation was all it took for Linda Walker to volunteer with the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
"I heard one of their board members speak some years ago, and it really made me think," said the Augusta resident. "I've always heard about Make-A-Wish and knew that they do really good work.
"I was retired, so I thought that I should do something for the community and that this foundation would be a very good avenue."
In hopes of attracting more volunteers, the foundation will hold an orientation and volunteer training session Saturday at First Baptist Church of Augusta, said Linda Edwards, the development and volunteer coordinator for the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Georgia and Alabama.
"Our three goals are to increase public awareness about our program, increase the number of children we grant wishes to and raise money to grant the children's wishes," she said.
Orientation will be held the first 45 minutes of the session, followed by the training. People may leave after the orientation if they do not want to stay for the training, Edwards said.
"Although they will probably want to stay," she added.
Wishes are granted to children between the ages of 30 months and 18 years who have life-threatening medical conditions. Currently, there are 17 pending wishes in the Augusta area.
Wishes fall into one of four categories: "I wish to meet ...," "I wish to be ...," "I wish to have ...," or "I wish to go ...".
"It's limited by only the child's imagination," Edwards said. "It's our job to find out what that child's wish is. We have only one time to make it possible and only one time to do it right."
Walker said that she looks forward to each wish and seeing a smile on the child's face when it's granted.
"It gives them the strength to go through what they're going through, and it gives them joy," she said. "Knowing that you have contributed to that gives you great joy, too. It's such a wonderful thing."
Volunteers must be at least 21 years old and must complete an application, which will include three references and a background check.
Registering for the training is suggested, but not required. To register, call (706) 224-6431.
The Columbia County News-Times ©2013. All Rights Reserved.