Granting Wishes, Reaping Smiles

At twenty seven years old, Danimei Everett manages to be the Program Officer of Make-A-Wish Philippines, an organization that grants the wishes of children with critical illnesses. She handles the wish-granting events, as well as the volunteer events.

People may think it is an easy job but, it’s not. It takes much work to plan and organize a wish grant. She is required to be creative and resourceful considering that they only have a small budget. It’s a child’s ONE TRUE WISH, and it must be their BEST DAY EVER, so she should make sure everything is as perfect as it can be. The wish has the power to uplift, encourage, and transform. Make-A-Wish Philippines has the responsibility to give it all they’ve got.

Danimei started volunteering four years ago. Since then, she became a full-time staff and has been that for more than two years now. She always had a heart for service and feels fulfilled knowing she is a part of the reason why someone is uplifted and encouraged.

At her first Make-A-Wish Philippines event, she loved being in the moment and a part of a child’s transformation from “hopeless” to “hopeful.” She saw first-hand how wishes affected the children, how their eyes lit up, and how their smiles seemed to brighten the whole room. In her own words, the experience was magical. She knew then it was not going to be the last time she volunteered in the foundation.

Being a Make-A-Wish PH volunteer has changed her life to the unimaginable. She was at a very low and dark point in her life when she was first invited to volunteer. That day, she remembers realizing how much hope and goodness there is in the world which gave her a reason to push herself to heal.

Since then, and over the last four years, Make-A-Wish PH has been her source of hope, strength, and joy. Every day, when she meets the kids, she learns more about life. She discovers what is important, what true happiness is, and how to be grateful and content with what she has. The foundation has changed her life in a big way, and she hopes that others may experience the same when they volunteer.

Danimei at Make-A-Wish Philippines

The simple things one does, are life-changing and can heal with the hope, strength, and joy that they give. It is these things that make her believe that magic is real because she sees it through the wish kids. These experiences motivate her to continue her work and encourage others to volunteer. We are not ordinary volunteers, we can be genies and superheroes!

Seeing someone else smile because of something she can give or do for them makes her smile as well. Whether a friend, family, or wish kid, she loves creating a difference in someone else’s life. The feeling of accomplishment and knowledge that she has spread joy really makes her happy.

Danimei at a wish-granting event

She states it is not that difficult to make someone smile. Simple gestures and words are at times all it takes. Or simply just having the mindset that one’s actions and words have a positive impact on others. She can say and do things that make people smile, sometimes without even thinking about it.

Simoné Jalbuena, iVolunteer Philippines

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