As a tribute to their many years of passionate work, we are honored to announce both Michelle Brauner and Kim Kimes as October’s Volunteers of the Month. Both members of this dynamic duo have successfully granted more than 10 wishes in the last two years. This momentum has no end as they are always willing to take on a new wish and make each child’s wish journey as special as the next!
The pair continuously works hard to secure enormous amounts of in-kind donations and they have even created new partnerships for Make-A-Wish with vendors in their region. “They do all this with a lot of passion and great, positive attitudes,” Wish coordinator Franki Jo Beckwith shared.
Kim was born and raised in Chester, IL and Michelle grew up not too far away in Bellville, IL. Kim and Michelle have brought lots of magic to families in their hometowns and surrounding areas as Wish Granters! Both joined the Make-A-Wish team because of their love of working with children. Kim has been fundraising, granting wishes, and mentoring for almost 10 years. She has a “spot in her heart” for every wish she’s been a part of. “All of the kids have been through so much,” she said, “and I just love to see the looks on their faces when their wishes come true.”
Michelle first attended wish granter training 6 years ago. She says that she has supported Make-A-Wish all this time because of the happiness it can bring, not only to kids, but to entire families. Michelle explained that seeing the smile on the face of a little girl who usually had a very difficult time communicating was one of her favorite memories of wish granting. “The hope and joy that Make-A-Wish can bring others keeps me coming back,” she shared. “Moments like that show me that what we’re doing is needed.”
The duo’s community involvement has educated countless families on the Make-A-Wish mission and encouraged them to refer children in need. “They are passionate, thoughtful, child-focused, and always mindful of the reality of what each family is experiencing, and they handle it with integrity and grace,” said Wish Manager Amy Ceciliano. “I have no doubt that each child and family paired with Michelle and Kim feels the power of a wish in the magic they bring to each experience and will never forget the impact they leave them with.”
Thank you, Michelle and Kim, for always going above and beyond in creating and spreading Make-A-Wish hope, strength, and joy!