Volunteers make a difference — and you can help

A Special Wish raffle ticket volunteers during 2017’s Dayton’s Dancing With the Stars Valentines Dance. SAM MCCONNELL/CONTRIBUTED

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A Special Wish raffle ticket volunteers during 2017’s Dayton’s Dancing With the Stars Valentines Dance. SAM MCCONNELL/CONTRIBUTED

"Volunteering is the ultimate exercise in democracy. You vote in elections once a year, but when you volunteer, you vote every day about the kind of community you want to live in." — Unknown

A Special Wish Foundation — Dayton has a dedicated staff of three people, 14 committed and caring board members and the help of hundreds of community-minded volunteers donating over 1,000 hours of their time each year. ASW’s volunteers show a tremendous level of generosity by offering their time and effort, making a true difference.

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In 2018 alone, ASW will host major events and fundraisers such as Dayton’s Dancing With the Stars Valentines Dance (Feb. 9), the Superhero Donut Run 5k/10k & Fun-Run (April 28) and Glow Fore Wishes, a glow-in-the-dark golf tournament (Aug. 24). Along with these major events, in the summer, ASW will serve beverages to thousands of Daytonian’s during Riverscape MetroPark’s monthly Pickin’ in the Park, attend Vectren’s Air Show Preview Day with wish families, host a Holiday Open House party in November at the Boonshoft Museum of Discovery for their wish kids and families and attend several events held on their behalf such as the Trans Am Nationals Car show.

From a dance that will host over 700 guests, to Sparkles of Joy, ASW’s in-hospital program where children admitted to Dayton Children’s are given a monthly gift, and are also invited to play bingo in the children’s play area, all of these events, fundraisers, and parties share one major contributing factor, they require the helping hands of hundreds of volunteers.

As a smaller nonprofit organization, we absolutely depend on the time and effort of our board members and our volunteers. The run alone will have over 1,000 Superhero runners. We need volunteers prior to the day of the run, at the run, and even on the run’s course. And that’s just for one event! Without the help of their volunteers, ASW’s staff would find it challenging to hold and execute their events.

ASW’s Ambassador Volunteers also play a pivotal role for the foundation. The ambassadors take on a more hands-on approach. We have a smaller group of volunteers who have really made an incredible impact on our organization. Becky Levi, ASW’s key Sparkles of Joy volunteer, helps us prepare monthly gifts, assists with gift delivery, and runs our monthly bingo game. Our ambassadors go through an extensive background check and consists of people we know can act as trusted faces for A Special Wish Foundation. People like Becky make a huge and positive impact on our daily work lives within a normal business day.

If you want to help make a difference within the Dayton community & surrounding area and are interested in becoming a volunteering for A Special Wish Foundation — Dayton, you can visit their website to fill out the online application at www.aspecialwishdatyon.org and then click on 'Ways to Help.' It's a simple application process and ASW is always welcoming new volunteers to help at events or to assist them with getting items ready for Sparkles of Joy. The next opportunity to volunteer will be during their Dayton's Dancing With the Stars Valentines Dance on Feb. 9. For additional questions or help with your volunteer application, call Allison Cox at 937-641-4263 or email her at coxa3@childrensdayton.org.

A Special Wish Foundation-Dayton Chapter is the only wish granting organization located in the Dayton region. For more information on how you can be part of granting a local child’s wish, go online to www.aspecialwishdayton.org.

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