GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – Marilyn Rosenthal has been volunteering with Make-a-Wish Eastern North Carolina for more than ten years, and she is still brought to tears when he remembers specific wishes she helped make a reality.
“I remember his family,” said Rosenthal. “We knew them. I remember his face. I remember his joy. And I thought how powerful during a family’s most tragic time of their life that they could still experience so much joy and how beautiful that is. Why not be a part of that?”
She said volunteers create a close connection with the kids.
“We see them grow,” said Rosenthal. “We see their families change. We experience their family, and they become a part of us.”
Make-a-Wish Eastern North Carolina focuses solely on children in the region, and they are constantly hard at work granting hundreds of wishes each year.
“On average, our chapter grants 200 wishes every year,” said Rosenthal. “That’s not a wish every day, but it’s more than one every other day in the 49 counties in eastern North Carolina.”
With a specific focus on children in the area, the staff relies heavily on the communities they serve for everything to come together.
“The community’s help, support, volunteers, fundraising, is really what drives us and makes these wishes come true,” said Rosenthal.
Rosenthal said providing a light in the darkness is what Make-a-Wish Eastern North Carolina is all about and why she continues to volunteer with the organization.
“We may not be able to cure you,” said Rosenthal. “We can’t treat you. We can’t go into the hospital and receive your treatment. What we can do is give you that happiness for that particular moment. We can give you that smile. We can make you have that joy. We can see you make those memories with your family.”