WILLIAMSVILLE, N.Y. (WKBW) — A handful of student-led groups in the Williamsville Central School District have been charged with a mission to bring together a sense of community and togetherness. They came up with a unique initiative to help Make-A-Wish Western New York.
"Being able to connect with my community and people in school, students and faculty alike, to help bring a smile to some people's faces and help families in need. It honesty makes my heart feel happy," said Kennedy Intihar, a junior at Williamsville East H.S.
"They invited us to join them for a bunch of different committee meetings, and they all kind of decided, yup, we want to grant some wishes," said Mary Hazel, Manager of Development for Make-A-Wish Western New York.
Make-A-Wish WNY typically grants 100 to 150 life-changing wishes for children a year. Hazel said they still hope to grant around 100 wishes in 2021.
"Through our meetings we've really learned the true impact of a wish by hearing Make-A-Wish kids' stories. And it's so incredible to be making a difference right in our community," said Katie Hall, a senior at Williamsville South H.S.
The WillPower for Wishes initiative began March first, and will continue through World Wish Day on April 29. So far the students have raised $12,000.
"In a normal year, partnerships like this are so critical. But we've had so many funding challenges with COVID. We've had to cancel two galas now, a lot of our summer community fundraising events weren't able to take place," said Hazel.
Student leaders in each school will have unique goals and activities to raise funds, and help transform the lives of wish kids within the WCSD school community.
"We're helping Williamsville families, so it's Williamsville kids helping other families within Williamsville. It's a great thing that we know the impact is going to be significant," said Grady Andrews, a senior Williamsville North H.S.