We loaded up our Program Director Kate’s car for the long trip up to Old Town from Portland bright and early Friday morning. Kate and I had a guest along for the journey (see: manual labor) in my fiancé, Abel.
Abbey, 4, wished for an outdoor play space. Kate worked with Abbey’s parents to create an amazing outdoor space for her to experience everything. A lot of tactile things came to life and Kate didn’t forget Abbey’s love of music. That day a space was created including: a sandbox with toys and a special chair just for Abbey, outdoor speakers for her to listen to her favorite music, a CedarWorks playset with a swing suited just for her, a flower bed with beautiful-smelling flowers for Abbey to smell and touch, a windchime, and a swinging bench for Abbey to spend time with her family.
It was a hot day, but we were happy to discover Abbey’s yard provided us with ample shade. I quickly became the “gofor” – running errands to get ice for the drink bucket, grab lunch for our volunteers, get batteries and fill balloons with helium and pick up a cake. Not to mention my trip to Bangor to get more soil and wood chips! I will be the first to admit I got the easier of the tasks that today, mostly because Kate’s car has air conditioning.
Each time I returned to Abbey’s home, I was excited to see the progress. Slowly but surely it was coming together. And, the best part, was the volunteers that day! Bangor Savings Bank was the Adopt-A-Wish sponsor for Abbey’s wish and had the added bonus of volunteering that day to make her wish become a reality. Ten stellar volunteers from Bangor Savings Bank joined us and made magic happen! We were also fortunate to have former wish kid Lizzie get support from Lowe’s, where she works. She also spent the day with us transforming Abbey’s backyard into a customized play space for her.
When Abbey came home, she got to experience the magic herself. She was all smiles in the sandbox, while on the swing, and going down her new slide. It was a wonderful and heart-warming thing to see on her Wish Day. It looked like it would also be a great space for her brother and sister to enjoy, and her brother took his turn on the slide as well.
All said and done, this is the magic of Make-A-Wish. It involved some sweat and heavy lifting, but it came together in the most perfect way. I send out big thanks to everyone involved, including our fabulous volunteers from Bangor Savings Bank, Lizzie, Abel and Kate. It was such a great day and inspired me once more about the powerful impact of the work we do each day.
To see more photos from Abbey’s Wish Day, visit our Facebook page. You can also watch the WABI-TV story on Abbey here.