A small Tyler Junior College organization is making big dreams come true for terminally ill children.
The Wish Makers on campus is set up to grant wishes to terminally ill children from the ages of 2 1/2 to 18 years old and is a campus-based branch of the worldwide Make a Wish Foundation.
The first step in the selection process is the referral of a child. Next the Make a Wish Foundation determine if the child’s sickness is fatal, then a wish team is sent to get know the child’s wish. Finally they make the child’s wish come true.
“The Make A Wish Foundation chooses the child for our organization,” said Teresa Garner, co-president of the TJC’s Wish Makers.
TJC is one of the first college campus branches of the world wide organization in Texas. The campus-based organization began in a leadership class.
TJC Wish Makers’ first wish was granted in the fall 2007 when the sent a 9-year-old boy and his family to Walt Disney World for Christmas.
The group raised money last semester in a variety of ways including waiting tables, working at football games and collecting donations.
“I started last semester with a goal of $5,000,” said Garner.
The local community is doing their part to help the students raise money to grant the wishes of the children.
“We are trying to get some corporations to sponsor us,” said Lindsey Holley, co-president of the TJC’s Wish Makers.
Wish Makers is melting pot because faculty as well as students can join.
To join the club a person must be either a student or faculty member, and must attend at least three meetings.
“TJC is made up of up of many kind of people, young and old,” said Garner. “If we get 1,000 students it would make a massive impact on a child’s life.”
The new organization is small and is working to get more members in the months of April and May.
“Word of mouth and membership drives are some of the ways we plan on to help get more people involved and even the school paper,” said Holley.
For more information about becoming a member a TJC’s Wish Makers, go to Apache Access. Meetings are held on the first Monday of every month at noon in room 248 in Pirtle.