Doing Good NH: Make-A-Wish New Hampshire

This week I had the privilege of interviewing two young women that are changing lives on a daily basis and making positive change! Holly Blanchard is the Director of Marketing at Make-A-Wish New Hampshire and Nikki Lyons Lahey is Director of Community Outreach at Make-A-Wish New Hampshire.

Nikki with a Make-A-Wish friend.

Holly learned about Make-A-Wish early on as she witnessed firsthand friends with life threatening illnesses be changed by the kindness of this national nonprofit! Nikki learned of the organization watching the “My Wish” Series on ESPN and knew she needed to help! Both women got involved for different reasons but have the same goal and heart to help better the lives of NH children and families facing difficult times.

Holly with a Make-A-Wish Friend.

When Holly and Nikki aren’t at Make-A-Wish New Hampshire you can see them both engaged in their communities!

Holly teaches baton lessons at Ameri-Kids Baton and Dance Studio and enjoys networking though Make-A-Wish New Hampshire’s involvement in the Manchester Chamber of Commerce! She also recently represented the state of NH as Miss New Hampshire 2015 with the platform “Charity from the Heart: Giving Time to Make a Difference.”

Nikki is very active in Leadership Lakes Region and helps run the Lyons’ Den Restaurant in Gilford that her and her parents started eleven years ago!

Nikki with Leadership Lakes Region

Make-A-Wish New Hampshire grants wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions to enrich the human experience with hope, strength and joy. What many people do not realize is that these wish experiences truly transform the lives of the kids they serve. Medical professionals now say that a wish can provide a child facing a critical illness with the emotional and physical strength to fight their grown up battle.

Here are five things you should know!

  1. Make-A-Wish New Hampshire is currently celebrating its 30th Anniversary! The NH chapter was founded in December of 1986.
  2. More than 1,420 wishes have been granted in NH all falling into four, sometimes five, categories: “I wish to go somewhere;” “I wish to meet someone;” “I wish to be something;” “I wish to have something;” and sometimes “I wish to give back…”
  3. A wish is granted every 3 ½ days in the state.
  4. Annually there are approximately 112 children diagnosed in NH with a life-threatening illness who qualify for a wish. The ultimate goal is to grant the wish of every eligible child every single year, year after year.
  5. Anyone can put together an event or fundraiser for Make-A-Wish New Hampshire.

 

Want to help and just don’t know how?! Well here is your chance!

To get involved and to make positive change: 

There is something for everyone: wish granting, volunteering in the office, volunteering at fundraising events, being an ambassador for the chapter, skill-based volunteering and participating in or hosting a fundraising event. To learn more about Make-A-Wish New Hampshire and how you can get involved, visit www.nh.wish.org, attend an upcoming volunteer information session, an upcoming Wish Tour or call the office at (603) 623-9474. Annually they have many fundraising events put on for them by wonderful volunteers in the community from golf tournaments to bake sales to car shows that take place throughout NH making it possible for them to grant more wishes. Anyone can create a fundraising event to benefit Make-A-Wish New Hampshire.

Upcoming Events:

Breakfast for Wishes – May 11th 7am – 8:30am – fundraising event at the Radisson Hotel in Manchester.

Rafting for Wishes – July 21st and 22nd at Hesky Park in Meredith Bay, Meredith.

Show N Shine – car show to benefit Make-A-Wish NH, Sunday, August 6th 8am – 3pm

Tours – Monthly at their office in Manchester, (814 Elm St, Suite 300) they have Wish Tours (informational sessions, about 45 minutes in length, to learn more about their work)

Want to know more?

You can find stories of their young heroes and amazing community members helping out on their website and you can also make your tax-deductible donation on the site as well!

When asked why young professionals should give back Holly and Nikki stated “Find your passion and put yourself out there! There are thousands of nonprofits in the state of New Hampshire alone – many of which are always looking for volunteer help. You’ll be surprised and grateful for the positive impact volunteering can have on your own life. Find something you are passionate about that you can have a direct impact on and start making a difference.”

“At the end of the day, it’s not about what you have or even what you’ve accomplished. It’s about who you’ve lifted up, who you’ve made better. It’s about what you’ve given back.” -Denzel Washington

There are so many wonderful people and agencies making a difference in our own back yards! If you would like us to feature your non profit agency or know of an amazing NH professional giving back like Holly and Nikki, email  me at doinggood@stayworkplay.org.

We all can make positive change in our communities! It starts with us! Until next time – Do Good NH!!!

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