Our volunteer translators are an integral piece of our vision to grant the wish of every eligible child. It is far easier for us to work with a non-English-speaking wish family when we’re able to speak their native language. A translator’s primary role? To understand the one true wish of a child with a critical illness, as well as the reason behind the child’s most heartfelt wish.
This is why our volunteer translators are so crucial to Make-A-Wish’s unique ability to transform a child and family’s life during some of their most difficult times. A wish creates an opportunity for hope for struggling families, and the ability for kids to experience life beyond illness – but that is all the more challenging if our wish granters do not speak the family’s native language. If you are bilingual, translating is how you can have the greatest impact on wish kids.
“Often, these are the kids who have to wait longer for their wish to be granted, because we are struggling to find a volunteer who speaks their language,” said Lisa Brinkerhoff, senior manager for volunteer engagement at Make-A-Wish America. “A volunteer translator doesn’t need to be a wish granter. Yes, they could elect to go through the full training to be a wish granter, or they could only work as a translator and just go with a team of volunteers to the family’s home.” The latter is a much shorter onboarding process. “As the wish progresses, a translator may provide the family an update or assist the chapter with additional translating needs."
Spanish speakers are most needed at each of our 62 chapters. The other languages we need vary by region. For example, Arabic speakers are greatly needed at Make-A-Wish Michigan. Make-A-Wish Hudson Valley is in need of Yiddish, Arabic and Creole speakers. Whatever your second language is, our chapters would love to hear from you.
“Quite simply, if you speak another language and tell your local Make-A-Wish chapter that you read this post and you would love to help us as a translator, that chapter would be thrilled,” Lisa said.
Will you help us grant every eligible child’s wish? It’s easy to reach your local Make-A-Wish chapter! Click here and enter your zip code or state to find one near you.