Riley Ford’s motivation for volunteering for the Make a Wish Foundation is simple. She just wants to help.
“I just like to know that other kids are having fun,” the 8-year-old, who attends Holcomb Elementary in Fayetteville, said. “I like taking their minds off being sick.”
Riley, who started volunteering at age 6, raises money for the foundation to help grant wishes for kids suffering from challenging health conditions.
“We try to help raise money for them,” she told me. “With the money we raise we can take them wherever they want to go.”
It was Riley’s parents who got her started.
“My parents were talking about it and my Mom explained it to me,” Riley said. “I thought I could help kids. It’s important to me because I want them to have some fun and not just be sick.”
The Make a Wish Foundation provides unique experiences for those needing a distraction from the health challenges they face. Riley and her friends may never get to meet the kids who their work in the community helps, but that does not stop her or her team of friends and family. She has a great team of friends and family who make donations in Riley’s name and host their own fundraisers that benefit her team.
My team name, she said proudly, is “The Fairy God Mothers.”
“Since Make a Wish is a place where you pretty much make a kid’s dreams come true,” she said. “I thought that ‘Fairy God Mothers’ are people who make wishes come true. It’s just fun.”
Riley and her team do take it all with a sense of responsibility and pride.
“Yep, were a tough team to beat,” the third grader said, with a serious tone. “But, we know we help.”