Photo of staff member meeting Make a Wish recipient

A Housing and Residence Life staff member (right) talks to the Make-A-Wish recipient.

It took a year of creative ideas and hard work, but one Greensboro teen and her family enjoyed a trip of a lifetime to Disney World thanks to UNCG’s Housing and Residence Life (HRL) staff.

It all started two years ago with a UNCG student and his resident advisor (RA). The student was a former Make-A-Wish recipient, and the RA, touched by the student’s experience, hosted a fundraiser for Make-A-Wish Central and Western North Carolina.

When Katie Patscke-Maguire, coordinator for residence life, heard their story, she wanted to do more. So, she asked the entire HRL staff to get involved and to find a way to fully fund a wish for a child with a life-threatening condition.

A RA Make-A-Wish committee was formed, including RAs from each of UNCG’s 15 residential communities. Nearly 20 percent of UNCG’s RAs volunteered to help coordinate fundraising efforts over the course of the 2015-16 academic year.

Fundraisers ranged from hall-specific events such as a “pie-your-RA” day and competitive penny wars to campus-wide initiatives including a pop-up thrift shop stocked with student donations in February.

“There were 50 to 60 different fundraisers all over campus,” Patscke-Maguire said.

By the end of the Spring 2016 semester, HRL raised $7,016.82, surpassing its $6,000 goal, and was able to fully fund a wish.

In July, HRL staff hosted a welcome home party for the teen and her family, where they had the opportunity to meet her and hear about her wish trip.

“I just wanted to say thank you for making my wish come true,” the Tinker Bell loving, Disney fan said. “It meant a lot.”

 

Story and photography by Jeanie McDowell, University Communications