Little Wishes Make a Huge Difference

It’s my personal journey to persuade people, especially in this space, that no action is too small to make a difference. 

The Value of Uncommon Coaching

The power of our humanity and empathy isn’t limited to grand gestures or huge budgets. All of us have the power to curate curiosity and have courageous conversations. Through the value of uncommon coaching, I’ve helped dozens of nonprofits and charities understand why love and kindness, not just big donors, are the keys to their success.

Little Wishes is the perfect example of this. 

Back in the Fall of 2002, my good friend Laura Euphrat was a nurse in the oncology unit of the California Pacific Medical Center. 

She answered a nurse call from a sweet 8-year-old boy named Josh, who battled a rare and aggressive form of liver cancer. He had a wish, a very specific pair of shoes. Unfortunately Josh lost his life to that battle, but that one small wish granted brought so much joy to his world before he passed.

That was when Laura, alongside another nurse, Joanna Devantes, founded Little Wishes in Josh’s memory, which has sent a ripple across countless lives.

Every wish through this program typically costs about $100 dollars, and together they created a network of Child Life Specialists, training them on how to grant these wishes. She came to me once she was in about 6 hospitals asking for help in expanding the program. 

Now, she is in 38 hospitals around the US! 

Together we created a training module so she could easily train Child Life Specialists on what to do, helped her learn to manage the cost of her program, and helped her learn how to ask for gifts. 

All so she had a greater ability to make a difference in the lives of others. 

No idea is too small to bring joy to someone’s life, and the humanness of the work we do is deep, even when the ideas are small. Laura never wanted to be a giant grant making organization, and that’s okay!  She specifically wanted to help in smaller ways, and I am grateful I could use my 30 years of experience to help her make a greater impact. 

Reflections from a Philanthropy Coaching Mentee 

I’ll let Laura’s beautiful testimony do the talking:

“Since starting Little Wishes in 2003 in memory of one of my patients, it always felt like fate and many serendipitous opportunities helped us grow an idea that would bring so much joy to seriously ill, hospitalized children. We were nurses with a great idea, but we weren’t educated on how to navigate the nonprofit world. We learned by trial and error and spent the majority of our time getting through ugly hospital red tape.

Over the years, we were incredibly fortunate that the universe put many people before us that helped to guide and shape Little Wishes. Because of the healthy growth of our organization, we could touch the lives of thousands of children fighting big battles.

In 2017, I was proud of our expansions to more hospitals, but I realized we needed professional guidance on how to maintain and sustain and support our vision of growing. That’s when the Little Wishes angels sent Sterrin Bird our way.

The day I met her, I knew she was a perfect match to our mission. Sterrin was like a beacon of light to our organization. Sterrin legit took us to the next level without making it feel overwhelming. Sterrin was an open book and shared her stories of how she became passionate about helping others in the nonprofit world.

What we learned from Sterrin in 2017 shaped us to where we are now: 27,000 wishes in over 80 hospitals, with even more on the waitlist. Sterrin really wanted to hear our story, and she emphasized that the secret sauce was telling our story to people and speaking purely from the heart, no matter who was in front of you.

We were fortunate to have Sterrin at a few of fundraisers, and her presence was incredibly comforting. She was like having a coach (that nobody else was aware of in the room). Just a gentle nod and reassurance was all I needed to remind me to speak from the heart, and not to talk too long. 

She also really helped us keep in touch with our donors. She taught us creative ways to speak to them on paper/email and creative ways to get our message out.   

Her creative ideas have sparked numerous successful campaigns, which have brought substantial funding to Little Wishes.

She has been an incredible mentor and has elevated my confidence to a level that I never even thought I could attain. She is a one-woman powerhouse who can move mountains and make you feel like you can too. A personal trainer of the nonprofit world that only makes you feel like a million bucks (literally!)”

Laura’s vision worked because she knew who she wanted to be. 

Even if your idea is small, you can grow it into something that impacts hundreds of people. And I can help you. You deserve advisors around you who will tell you the truth and push you out of your comfort zone to move forward. 

That’s the key to being a human who moves mountains. I did this for Laura, and I can do it for you, too!

Help fulfill dreams, please consider a donation to Little Wishes today!

By | 2024-05-30T00:41:26-07:00 May 29th, 2024|Uncategorized|Comments Off on Little Wishes Make a Huge Difference