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A Family Affair

A Family Affair

Make-A-Wish Mississippi has over 150 volunteers across the state. Twenty-nine of those volunteers reside in Madison County. Three of them belong to the Enstrom family. Mona Enstrom, Lauren Cantrell and Megan Hodges have been granting wishes to children in Mississippi with life-threatening medical conditions for over a decade. Together, there truly is no telling how many lives the three have touched through their dedication in helping give hope, strength and joy to children battling illnesses

Since its inception in 1985, Make-A-Wish Mississippi has granted over 1,650 wishes. With the help of volunteers, or “wish granters” as they are called, children facing tough battles are able to receive their most heartfelt wish. It takes a special person to take on this responsibility. It takes people like Mona, Lauren and Megan. People filled with kindness, compassion and selflessness.

Mona Enstrom became a wish granter for Make-A-Wish Mississippi over fifteen years ago. “Make-A-Wish has given me a better understanding of how lucky we as parents are that our children are healthy. So many families that have children with life-threatening illnesses face many challenges everyday,” said Mona, “They have to give up so much. Until you volunteer and actually meet these children and their family, we do not have a real understanding of what they are going through.” 

Mona not only serves as a wish granter, but she also works on the committee for the Annual Make-A-Wish Golf Tournament and sponsors the annual Evening of Wishes Gala. Furthermore, she has enlisted several others to become a part of the organization, others such as her twin daughters, Lauren and Megan. Mona instilled the importance of helping others in need into her daughters, and that is evident through their commitment to philanthropy. For the Enstroms, Make-A-Wish is a family affair.

Lauren and Megan grew up watching their mom volunteer for Make-A-Wish. When asked how long they had been volunteering, the two replied with “as long as we can remember.” Lauren and Megan both became wish granters as soon as they moved back to Madison after college. Together Lauren and Megan have granted over fifteen wishes in just a few years and have recruited 7 additional wish granters for Make-A-Wish.

So why do they volunteer for Make-A-Wish? Besides following in their mother’s footsteps, Lauren and Megan had two inspiring answers.  “Granting the child’s wish doesn’t only impact the wish child; it impacts all of their loved ones. Sometimes it is overseen how much the child’s family and friends have been through because of the child’s illness. It’s so nice to give these children and their families a sense of normalcy while enjoying their wish,” said Lauren.

"Make-A-Wish has shown me how fortunate I am to be alive and healthy and not to take even the smallest things for granted. It has shown me to look for the best in a given situation,” Megan exclaimed, “I love being around and helping kids. This organization is something positive for the kids that are facing some very hard battles in their lives.“

Mona, Lauren and Megan’s dedication to helping kids get a wish is inspiring. Want to become a wish granter, too? Visit www.ms.wish.org for more information on how to get involved.

This story originally appeared in Madison County Magazine.

So many families...have to give up so much. Until you volunteer and actually meet these children and their family, we don not have a real understanding of what they are going through." ”

— Megan

A Family Affair

A family affair

A family affair

Make-A-Wish® Mississippi
576 Highland Colony Parkway
Suite 120
Ridgeland, MS 39157
(601) 366-9474
Toll Free (800) 819-4072
Make-A-Wish® Mississippi, Southern Region - Gulfport
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Gulfport, MS 39506
(228) 575-8691
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