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Mary Dillard

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My me lighten the load of those that have been given unbelievably heavy crosses to bear

The Alabama chapter of Make-A-Wish is hosting their second annual Trailblaze Challenge. The premise of the fundraiser is for hikers to raise $2,500 which allows them to hike 26.3 miles on the Pinhoti Trail in the Talladega National Forest. Of course, I know you must be thinking it should be the other way around since 26.3 miles seems like punishment.

In all seriousness, when I heard about the Challenge, my first thoughts were rather selfish: this will be a great way to get in shape and have some relief from the daily stresses of work and family. However, at the Make-A-Wish informational meeting several wish recipient families were present and shared their stories. Truthfully, I had to hold back the tears. One child was slowly going blind and wished to be able to see Minnie Mouse at DisneyWorld. Luckily, she was able to see Minnie, if only out of her peripheral vision since her central vision was already gone. During that meeting, my selfish thoughts were replaced by a true desire to do what little I could for these sick children and their courageous families.

Granted wishes provide a family with everlasting memories, but more importantly, hope is granted. Hope is a lifeline for the children and their families. Hope can not only give the children the strength to continue fighting, but hope also gives the family the strength and courage to support their sick child.

I realize there are countless opportunities for charitable giving, but I implore you to consider Make-A-Wish Alabama. Currently, 300 children are waiting for wishes to be granted. With only 11 employees for the entire state, the Alabama chapter is able to grant 128 wishes per year at an average cost of $8,000 per wish. Please consider a tax-deductible financial contribution so you can be part of giving a sick child the priceless gift of hope to continue fighting their fight.

As a means to raise funds for Make-A-Wish, I am also offering photography mini sessions. Examples of my work can be seen at Facebook under Photos4Charity.
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