Wish week


Abby McGaughey

The Sunday before Wish Week activities began, Student Council decorated the halls. They made posters and hung up blue and silver streamers. -Photo courtesy of Abby McGaughey

I wish to go, I wish to have, I wish to meet, and I wish to be are the 4 different categories of wishes that Make-A-Wish grants. Millard South’s Make-A-Wish liaison, Courtney Cleveringa, explained that “Make-A-Wish Nebraska grants the wishes of children between the ages of 2.5 and 18 who are battling a critical illness.” At the end of March, Millard South’s Student Council launched their first Wish Week campaign to grant an “I wish to have.”

Millard South succeeded in granting Liam’s wish of a playroom in his basement for him and his sister. Liam is an almost 4-year-old boy from Omaha who loves dogs, pizza, dancing to music, and swinging on swings.

Cleveringa said “Millard South StuCo has been a long-time supporter of Make-A-Wish Nebraska, and I wanted to present the idea of hosting a Wish Week because I knew your StuCo could take those ideas and implement them.”

Cleveringa also said “In the Omaha area, there were just two schools that hosted a Wish Week and Millard South was one of them.”

Liam the wish kid rocks a cookie monster t-shirt! -Photo courtesy of Courtney Cleveringa
Four year old Liam using a park swing to soar high into the air -Photo courtesy of Courtney Cleveringa

Seniors Jayden Smith and Sophia Nkwocha were committee heads for the Wish Week committee. They planned a whole week of fundraising events. “We sold bracelets, sold t-shirts, offered staff a jeans day, sold concessions at the Unified Basketball game, partnered with restaurants each night, and had a pride time donation competition,” Smith explained.

Each of the restaurant nights raised approximately $300 each and the pride time contest raised $2,357. According to Smith, Ashli Hudson’s senior pride time came in first place by donating $500. 

“I think almost 80% of our pride time gave a donation,” senior Anna Aesoph said, “and the next day, Mrs. Hudson said she would match whatever we raised which effectively doubled our contribution.” Hudson’s pride time was close to the $500 mark, so everyone rushed to chip in a couple more dollars. “The students in our pride time raised $150 alone, then with Hudson’s matching contribution, and a $200 contribution from Hudson’s best friend, we raised $500,” Aesoph explained.

I went with Mrs. Hudson to drop off the envelope. All the way down main street we were practically buzzing with excitement to be able to give so much. We were excited to see the look on Mrs. Nehls face as well as just being such a large part of the contribution. Afterwards, we couldn’t stop smiling and felt on top of the world,” Anna said.

In the end, Millard South raised $5,934.43 to build Liam his playroom. 

“Seeing the total came with the realization that our school just granted an entire wish,” Smith said. 

“The whole process was so rewarding,” Smith explained, “it was clear that the entire school was involved. I could hear people talking about Liam and I could see people buying bracelets, giving money in pride time, and going to restaurants. That is the true reward.”