AMARILLO, TX (KFDA) - Make-A-Wish is seeing a significant increase in the number of children they are helping, and as a result, a shortage of bilingual volunteers.
About 40 percent of those children come from Spanish-speaking homes, and in order to communicate with the families the organization is looking for 'Wish Granters' - volunteers who can speak English and Spanish.
A Wish Granter works closely with a child's family and the Make-A-Wish staff to make a wish come true.
Right now, there are only five bilingual volunteers. In order to accommodate the number of kids, the agency needs 15-20 volunteers.
"In the Amarillo regional office we grant about 30-50 wishes per year," development officer Alba Austin said. "A majority of those wishes are from Spanish-speaking Hispanic and Latino families, so we are in desperate need of Spanish speaking volunteers."
Most of the time the child speaks English and Spanish, but the parents do not. That's why it is important for the agency to add more bilingual speakers.
"We want someone who is going to be passionate about Make-A-Wish, is passionate about helping kids in their communities, and someone who can communicate with families," Austin said.
Austin adds they receive families from different economic levels, and Wish Granters should be able to work with them and make them feel comfortable in all situations. Volunteers form special bonds between the children and their families, Austin said.
"For that wish child and the wish family these Wish Granter volunteers are the face of Make-A-Wish."
Austin says the need for volunteers is high, but they also need more donations.
"We have a great need for volunteers, but we are also in need of donations because we had a 50 percent increase in wish referrals and wishes, and if we don't have any money coming in we cant grant all these wishes," Austin said.
To become a Wish Granter volunteer you can head to the Make-A-Wish website or contact the Amarillo office at 806-358-9943.