Volunteers of the Year Recognized by Make-A-Wish® | Rêves d’enfants Canada

Volunteer of the Year Awards
April, 2024

Three new regional awards added

April 16, 2024 – In celebration of National Volunteer Week, four exceptional individuals across Canada have been selected as Volunteers of the Year for Make-A-Wish | Rêves d’enfants Canada, recognizing their outstanding contributions. Established in 2023, the award honors volunteers who have made a significant impact through their selfless dedication and commitment to serving children with critical illness. New this year, three regional winners were selected in addition to a national winner. 

“Our volunteers are passionate about making a difference for children with critical illness and they are vital to our success”, said Meaghan Stovel McKnight, CEO, Make-A-Wish Canada. “This year’s award winners are an example of dedication, empathy, and selfless service to others and we are grateful for their support.” 

NATIONAL WINNER: Jim Scott, from Windsor, Ontario  

For over 20 years, Jim has been a passionate advocate for our mission and a great believer in giving back to his community. He has granted 60 wishes, raised millions of dollars and helped establish a satellite office for Make-A-Wish in the Windsor area.  

Jim has led a dedicated group of volunteers in his community to raise funds and grant wishes. His annual golf tournament will proudly celebrate its 20th anniversary this year and exceed $2 million dollars raised. 

“I’ve been granting wishes for 20 years and every time I run into a wish family, every single one of them say that the wish changed them. It helped them heal. It helped them turn the page on all the bad things they went through. A wish is really life altering and I’m blessed and honoured to be a part of it.” 

WESTERN REGION: Donna Serr, Medicine Hat, Alberta 

For nearly 19 years, Donna has been instrumental in organizing, planning, and coordinating numerous fundraising events, raising more than $900,000 to grant wishes. 

As a wish mom herself, Donna is the face of the organization in Medicine Hat and has personally met every wish family in the area. She is often referred to as the “Wish Lady”, having helped deliver over 60 wishes to date.   

In 2008, Donna began inspiring local students and community members to give back to others when she established the Walk for Wishes fundraiser, which now has eight local schools participating. 

She is a champion for kindness and generosity and passionately believes in the life-changing benefits of a wish for children with critical illness. 

CENTRAL REGION: Hazel Wayne, Richmond Hill, Ontario 

Over the past decade, Hazel has been a volunteer wish granter for over 40 wishes to date. She plans wish reveals, delivers wish boosts as part of a countdown, and stays in regular communication with her families. She thoughtfully goes above and beyond to make each child feel special. 

Getting to the heart of each child’s wish is important to Hazel, who tailors the wish experience accordingly. Her goal is to help create a truly memorable experience that the child will never forget. 

She’s happy to take on wishes remotely in places where we have few volunteers on the ground and often comes up with creative ways to those make remote wishes exciting, including pretending to be a dolphin over the phone!  

EASTERN REGION:  Hind Mesloub, Montreal, Quebec 

Hind is a woman of many skills. Behind the scenes and without fanfare, she works tirelessly doing whatever is needed. Her work underscores the importance of every role within the organization. 

Since before the merger, she’s taken on many much-needed tasks including making encouraging phone calls to fundraising event participants, organizing paperwork, assisting at every fundraiser, writing wish stories and delivering wish reveals. Her dedication, attention to detail, and non-stop enthusiasm have made her an integral part of the team. She approaches everything she does with a positive attitude and acts as an advocate within her community network. 

Hind summed it up beautifully when she said, “Anything I can do to help is a good use of my time.” 

Make-A-Wish Canada is actively recruiting volunteers. Find out more at makeawish.ca. 

Photos of Winners 

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MEDIA CONTACT: 
Kim Heron, Manager, Communications 
[email protected]

ABOUT MAKE-A-WISH CANADA 

Make-A-Wish creates life-changing wishes for children with critical illnesses. We are on a quest to bring every eligible child’s wish to life because a wish is an integral part of a child’s treatment journey. Research shows children who have wishes granted can build the physical and emotional strength they need to fight a critical illness. As an independently operating affiliate of Make-A-Wish International, Make-A-Wish Canada is part of a network of the world’s leading children’s wish-granting organization. We serve children in every community in Canada, and in more than 50 countries worldwide. Make-A-Wish Canada has granted almost 39,000 wishes over the past 40 years with 1,389 of them last year alone. For more information about Make-A-Wish Canada, visit makeawish.ca.