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Let us help you.
Danielle Gletow wants every child in the foster system throughout the United States to hear these four simple words.
Let us help you.
In 2008, Danielle founded the nonprofit One Simple Wish with the hope that everyday citizens could make a difference in the life of a foster child or vulnerable family by granting them simple wishes. As the title of her organization implies, she is dedicated to granting simple wishes to children who have no family or parent to ask. Wishes granted are as simple as a swimsuit for a 10-year-old boy or a day at Six Flags for a child who wants to reunite with her siblings for the day or a panda bear backpack for an animal loving toddler. Through community inclusive programs that focus on bringing people together, One Simple Wish raises awareness of the issues facing kids in foster care and those that have aged out. Equally as important, it gives people simple and real ways to make a difference by granting a wish to a foster child.
Above all else Danielle wants America’s invisible children to know there are people in this world, millions of people, who care about them. She wants to find connections for these kids, give them something that matters, and give them the knowledge that every person has the power to change the direction of their own lives. All these vulnerable children have to do is ask.
Recently RainbowKids caught up with Danielle to ask her a few questions about her amazing organization.
Describe that moment when you first realized this idea was working for making wishes for foster kids come true
A few months after the site launched I saw a wish granted by someone whose name I did not recognize. That was the moment when I first though "Wow, this is going to catch on!" Prior to that everyone who had granted wishes was a family member, friend or coworker. When I saw that it had gone beyond my own circle of support I was thrilled!
What has been your most rewarding moment?
Every day is my most rewarding moment and I mean that. I get to spend my life doing things for children that I know will make a difference to them and the quality of their lives. I can't imagine anything being more rewarding than knowing you are lifting someone up, especially a child.
What has been your most frustrating moment?
I have these a lot too! Running a nonprofit is a constant exercise in patience and persistence. We ask for money every single day to keep our work going. The answer is no more often than its yes. That can be frustrating but you have to keep at it. Not only will connect to your cause and that can affect you personally when you care as much as I do. But you have to keep asking. You have to keep remembering that you're asking for the kids and they deserve all my effort, humility and hard work.
What motivates you to keep going?
Kids. My kids, foster kids, just kids in general. They are so filled with possibilities and potential and I love the idea that a wish granted can be the door opening to a child's future...a new passion, a new skill, a big smile...whatever it is, I know that the kids appreciate what we do and deserve it. That keeps me going.
Describe your support network. Family? Co-workers?
I have the best support network in the world. I'm a total control freak and I can be really hard to handle because I have crazy high expectations of myself and often others. My husband is amazing. He keeps me going when I get so frustrated I can't talk straight. And my coworkers are the coolest, most passionate, most dedicated ladies I know. I adore them. And my family is amazing. My kids, my sisters, my parents. I'm very fortunate that I have a lot of really awesome people in my life.
How far does One Simple Wish Reach? What can our RainbowKids readers do to help One Simple Wish?
We cover the entire US! There are so many things to do to help One Simple Wish. We outline all of them on our website under "How To Help" at www.onesimplewish.org. But here are three easy and quick ones:
1. Grant a wish at www.onesimplewish.org/grant
2. Donate as little as $10 towards a Big Wish: www.crowdrise.com/bigwish
3. Spread the word! Tell everyone you know on social media about our work. Follow us at @Onesimplewish on Twitter and Like us at facebook.com/onesimplewish
Where do you see One Simple Wish ten years from now?
I see us helping every single child in foster care that needs us. I see offices in other states to help us spread our message and support more often locally. I see us partnering with really great corporations to ensure foster children have everything they need to become successful, productive, happy adults.
If you could have one wish, what would it be?
I would have a walk on role on Law & Order SVU. I already have everything else I want in life.
Thank you Danielle for taking a moment to share with our RainbowKids readers your inspirational work!
Author bio: Julie Barclay’s life has been dedicated to children. A former public school teacher and summer camp counselor-in-training director from the Pacific Northwest, Julie has worked with varied populations of children, always advocating for those most vulnerable. After having a biological daughter and son, Julie and her husband welcomed home an infant son from Korea in 2002.
Just over a year later, the Barclay’s family grew again. After seeing the photolisting of a 6-year-old boy with a heart condition in China, the family welcomed home their third son. In 2008 the Barclay clan welcomed their 5th child and 4th son, a 6-year-old from Ethiopia.
In 2013 Julie’s life was touched by adoption one more time. Through a genetic testing service, a cousin had found her and reached out with a Facebook message, “I believe we are cousins, would you like to connect via email?” The sender? Martha Osborne, founder of RainbowKids.com
Since that day, Martha (adoptee and mom to 5 through Intercountry adoption) and Julie have created a seamless blend between their families. Together, they have joined their passion to advocate for vulnerable children and have expanded RainbowKids from an adoption advocacy website, to a dedicated child and family welfare website.
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