Twilight Wish Foundation is an amazing non-profit. A 78 year young lady, Margarette Kirsch contacted them, saying she had wanted all her life to take a trip in an 18-wheeler. Cass, the head of Twilight Wish Foundation contacted me through a mutual friend and asked if I would be willing to take this woman on a cross-country truck trip. I had recently retired from a career as a truck driver. I agreed.
It took us a year to put everything together including legal hurdles, 18-wheeler truck rental with a trailer, trip itinerary, lodging, meals, pr and funding. Funding was difficult because everything I just mentioned cost money... and lots of it. This was not cheap by any means. Cass kept the faith through thick and thin that we were going to do this trip and grant this wish for Margarette. The funding came through a mere 2 weeks before our launch date. The rest of us were surprised and delighted, but Cass works on faith and was not surprised at all, though she was very delighted.
We would take my dog and along the way we stopped at retirement communities and Margarette, now 80, gave inspiring talks to the residents, I would sing some songs accompanying myself on guitar as my Pomeranian made herself available for petting by anyone who wanted.
We drove all the way from PA to Los Angeles along the northern route, then from Los Angeles to Florida where I dropped Margarette off at her home. The whole thing took 2 weeks to complete, covered 7000 miles total and was a life-changing experience for me.
We had some exciting adventures along the way. Like the time our truck broke down in a Colorado rest area far from any city. Margarette was wonderful. We lay on our backs on the green grass and shared imagined shapes with the clouds as we waited for rescue. Or the time we stopped off with no more than 30 minutes notice to a Rotary Meeting in Blythe, CA and Margarette gave such an inspiring talk that we walked away with contributions to the trip.
I also learned much about the power of faith. One big demonstration was Cass raising the funding. Another was hearing Margarette speak to the residents of the facilities on our trip. Margarette had a speech worked up for the groups in the communities and she did a great job inspiring our elderly to continue to do their best, regardless of anything else. She used herself as a shining example of how one can age actively.
Then one day we walked into a facility where nearly everyone was physically incapacitated in some way, many were rolled in on gurneys, others in wheelchairs. I had gotten to the room first, as usual, holding Quark, my dog, out so the residents could pet her and receive her love. I wondered what Margarette would talk about to these people, as activity was not an option for them. As she entered the room I watched her closely. She was surprised at first for about half a second, then a peace and joy filled her demeanor as she walked in and took her place at the front of the room. When she spoke, it was a whole new talk. She started talking about having met Rose Kennedy when she was a little girl and how Rose had inspired her to live life to the fullest, regardless of the situation. She spoke of using one's imagination to captain your boat and still reach the destinations your heart yearns for.
I knew in that moment that I was a small piece of something much bigger than any of us. This was a wish that all these people had asked for too. Twilight Wish Foundation was granting hundreds, if not more wishes with this trip. Cass and me, the staff at TWF and Margarette were working for the Greater Good, whatever it may be called. We were a wish-granting team whose effects would keep expanding long after we were gone.
I have carried this faith with me ever since. Margarette and I are still friends that keep in touch without social media. We call and we visit. Everyone involved in this wish was granted their own wish simultaneously. For a short video about this truck trip follow this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4ezO_XhH-n0
Thank you Cass for putting all of this into motion. You will never know what a big difference you make in the world.
While I have not been granted a wish of my own, I have seen how this foundation goes above and beyond for each and every wish they make come true. Their staff are lovely and kind with a huge passion for helping others. One particular instance, a Twilight volunteer took one woman's wish for a new mattress and reached out to local businesses to not only get a mattress, but a box spring, new comforter, pillows, and sheets. She was so grateful and surprised by their generosity. I love how they extend their reach to local businesses and get more than just their own volunteers involved. It creates a larger community that continues to give back. Thanks, Twilight!
I have worked as a volunteer with Twilight Wish Foundation for several years. Their mission is so needed by so many of our senior citizens who are living in poverty. The staff is excellent and is devoted to the Foundation's cause. In addition, they are fiscally responsible and there is never a charge to the wish recipient. I recommend Twilight Wish Foundation highly!
Recently TWF put on a Laugh Night at Juniper Village. It was a success. Myself, along with three of my residents and two activities staff from Saint John XXIII Home attended and had an absolutely Fabulous time. The food was Amazing, the entertainment very funny, the atmosphere wonderful and the Chinese Auction a hit!
Twilight Wish Foundation has been a blessing for local senior citizens with granting their wishes. They continue to give back to those who have paved the way before us celebrating their accomplishments and making dreams come true. This is an excellent organization that touches the lives of many every day!
I joined the Board of Directors for Twilight Wish Foundation in December of 2013. From an insider perspective, I can truly say that this is a phenomenal organization! I have seen Twilight Wish grant the wishes of many seniors since I have become involved and I have seen first hand the joy that seniors get when their wishes are granted. I am proud to be part of an organization that brings so much joy the senior community.
Twilight Wish provides meaningful and powerful experiences for Seniors to fulfill one dream that has not yet been fulfilled in their lives. Twilight Wish goes to great lengths to prepare the perfect experience in a cost effective manner. The joy they bring to the Seniors they serve is priceless.
I have been a volunteer for about 2 years now. We consistently are able to grant wishes to deserving seniors and veterans in our community. The gratitude that the wish recipients have for our organization is amazing. They are always humbled, honored and appreciative that we were able to make their wish come true.
As a Chapter Director, we have the opportunity to impact so many senior's lives in our county. From something as simple as providing a vacuum cleaner to someone who needed a bed to another individual that we sent to Florida for a conference who had never flown on an airplane, the possibliites to make wishes come true are endless!!
I volunteer for this organization. We have granted wished that change peoples lives for the better. We have provided stair lifts so an elderly woman could remain in her home, granted a 92 year old an opportunity to live out a dream (including a first flight) and simple dreams such as a bed, a sweeper, quad canes. I believe in this charity and hope it continues.
I started out as a donor & now am working at TWF. The mission & goal of this organization is genuine. We strive to grant wishes for senior citizens & military veterans who financially cannot do so on their own. Just to know my efforts, whether donating or fundraising, are positively effecting the older, often forgotten, generation is priceless.
I have been a volunteer at the TWF for 3 years. I’ve always felt that certain things in life are “sacred”, i.e. like a job, a friendship, one’s health or one’s financial prosperity. To me the word “sacred” implies a source of abundance. The staff and volunteers of the TWF, whether for a simple need or a wish to live life in the fullest, strive daily to be that source of abundance for a desiring senior. At the end of the day, it’s a good feeling. OK, so maybe we are one of those thousand points of light that President George H.W. Bush spoke of 20 + years ago! In any event, the TWF is a great organization.
Review from Guidestar
Twilight Wish Foundation is comprised of a team of angels. It's a wonderful organization to be a part of and I feel honored to be associated with such caring people who unselfishly help others. I have the highest respect for this organization and all the great things they do. With so many seniors in need of simple things (for example - dentures and walkers) to seniors desiring one last wish (like going to their former job) to living their life to the fullest (perhaps going up in a biplane). Senior citizens gave of themselves and helped to pave the way for all of us, and it's up to us to give back to them. Twilight Wish averages one wish every other day - - what an amazing contribution to this world! Twilight Wish Foundation makes this world a nicer place to age, one wish at a time.
Review from Guidestar
As the volunteer director of the NJ Chapter of Twilight Wish, I have to say that there is nothing more rewarding than helping to make wishes come true for our seniors. There is no greater feeling than seeing the smile on the face of the senior as their wish has been fulfilled.
Some wishes like trips to concerts, ball games and to see family/friends take some time to coordinate while others are simple to arrange. No matter how much time and coordination the wishes take, the end result is the same. The senior's wish comes true. Ultimately,
I am not sure who feels better when the wish is complete- the senior or me. I cannot tell you what a wonderful organization this is and how proud I am to be a part of it!
Review from Guidestar
The unwavering strength of the founder, CEO, and the volunteer staff to raise funds for underprivileged seniors and grant the wishes of so many, who often ask so little, is awesome to behold. While some are fun to grant, it is often the small things, like teeth, hearing aids, shoes, beds, etc... that keep you humble. Every dollar counts so, please, if you have one share it with this organization.
Review from Guidestar
Twilight Wish Foundation grants wishes for deserving seniors. The experiences and gifts provided by this organization are truly inspiring and create life lasting memories for the seniors and those involved in granting wishes.