Make-A-Wish Georgia volunteer, Angela Payne, has been selected as the recipient of the ‘Be Greater Atlanta Community Award.’ This award, presented by the Atlanta Hawks, is based upon the United Way of Greater Atlanta’s latest campaign, and is designed to recognize individuals throughout Metro Atlanta that are making a difference in their communities. Payne received her recognition on-court during half-time at a recent Friday night Hawks game.
Payne has been serving as a wish-granting volunteer with Make-A-Wish Georgia since 2007. Make-A-Wish grants the wishes of children with life-threatening illnesses. Today, at any given time, she could be helping to grant wishes for 10-15 children throughout the state of Georgia.
“The best part about working with Make-A-Wish is seeing the excitement on the kids’ faces when their wish is granted,” Payne said. “So much of their lives has been spent either in pain or ill, in a hospital and feeling sad. It is great to know that they are having their special wishes fulfilled.”
Payne’s favorite wish experience involved a teen battling brain cancer who was a budding songwriter. His wish was to host an appreciation luncheon for all of the doctors, nurses and staff that had assisted with his treatment at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta (CHOA). He also wanted to acknowledge the children at CHOA by bringing a table full of toys and distributing them to kids on the same floor where he had endured many of his treatments. To round out his wish, the ever-grateful vocalist performed an original song for his oncologist.
“I was taught that the most important part of life is to give back,” said Payne. “I want people to understand that living a good life is not about enhancing self, but giving back to others. I love the creativity I get to express in finding a way to enhance a child’s wish. It’s my heart.”
Make-A-Wish Georgia is currently recruiting bi-lingual volunteers to help make wishes come true for children battling life-threatening illnesses. To learn more about volunteering with Make-A-Wish, please contact Kymberly Benjamin, Volunteer Manager at firstname.lastname@example.org.