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Frequently Asked Questions


Why do you require a criminal background check?

Because we work closely with children, Make-A-Wish Orange County and the Inland Empire asks all volunteers to submit to a criminal background check. All information received from these reports will remain confidential and be used only for screening and placement purposes. Make-A-Wish policy prohibits our chapter from using the services of a volunteer if the volunteer has been convicted of a crime that victimizes children, is sexual in nature and/or involves violence, fraud or significant theft.

If you have ever been convicted of a crime against a child, a sexual crime or a violent crime or fraud, we cannot place you as a volunteer with our organization. If you have any questions regarding this policy, please contact us.

For additional inquiries, please feel free to contact our Volunteer Services Team at (714) 573-9474 or


What are some of your greatest volunteer needs?

Currently, we have a special need for volunteers who meet any of the following criteria:

  • Speak both Spanish and English
  • Have daytime availability
  • Live in the Inland Empire (Riverside or San Bernardino County)

How do I become a volunteer?

To begin the volunteer process you must attend a Volunteer Information Session, fill out a Volunteer Application and complete a criminal background check. Please visit Steps to Volunteering for more details.

Can I volunteer around my work schedule?

Yes. Many volunteers are working professionals. We ask for a time commitment in order to ensure volunteers are properly trained and can make timely progress in granting children's wishes. Administrative volunteers may work during business hours, while fundraising event volunteers can select specific days and times based on event needs. Speakers' bureau volunteers offer speeches at events, which also vary by nature. We strive to be as flexible as possible with our volunteers' time, and we ask the same in return.

What can I do as a volunteer?

The main areas of volunteerism are: Wish Granting, Events, Community Outreach projects, Administration and Special Projects. Visit Steps to Volunteering for more information.

Can anyone be a volunteer?

Official volunteers must be at least 18 years of age. Volunteers must be positive, outgoing, and passionate about children and our mission. It is important that volunteers are comfortable in a variety of social situations and work well with others.

I'm not 18 years old. Can I still volunteer for Make-A-Wish?

Although all official volunteers must be 18 years old to work directly with our wish children, there are a number of other volunteer opportunities including helping at events, hosting a toy, backpack or gift card drive or organizing a fundraiser at school through our Kids For Wish Kids® program.

What is a Wish Granter?

Wish Granters work in teams of two and attend to the details of granting a wish. They work directly with children to ascertain and plan wishes, and work creatively to seek in-kind goods and services to implement the wish. The nature of each child's wish determines the level of the Wish Granter's involvement. Wish Granters must be at least 18 years old.

Why are wishes handled by wish teams rather than individuals?

A two person team provides emotional support and helps to balance the workload. Working in teams also helps to protect volunteers from potential accusations of impropriety.

Who makes a great volunteer for your organization?

Volunteers who believe in and adhere to our values fit the Foundation best. Our values are: Integrity, Child Focus, Excellence, Community and Inspiration.
  • Integrity
    We approach every aspect of our work with unwavering standards of honesty, transparency and respect for wish recipients, their families and Foundation supporters.
  • Child Focus
    Our business practices always put the interests of wish children first.
  • Excellence
    We aspire to have best-in-class business practices, and we embrace the challenge to exceed expectations at every opportunity.
  • Community
    We foster a collaborative, global community of staff, volunteers and donors with the collective ability to make the broadest possible range of wishes come true.
  • Inspiration
    We are inspired by the examples of our wish kids and the actions of the entire Make-A-Wish® community to approach our mission with life-affirming enthusiasm, imagination and creativity. As a result, we fill each wish experience and every interaction with hope, strength and joy.

What kind of schedule must I have to be able to volunteer?

It is unlikely that you will have a regular scheduled volunteer time (i.e. every Tuesday at a certain time). The positions at Make-A-Wish tend to be very project-oriented and it is necessary that you have a flexible enough schedule to accommodate this commitment. 

Wish Granter

What is a Wish Granter?

Wish Granters, working in teams of two, attend to the details of granting a wish. They work directly with children to ascertain and plan wishes, and work creatively to seek in-kind goods and services to implement the wish. The nature of each child's wish determines the level of the Wish Granter's involvement. Wish Granters are asked to work on 3 wishes per year, drive up to 2 hours for the wish and attend a mandatory training.

Do Wish Granters travel with the family/child?

No, there are 62 other Make-A-Wish chapters around the country and many international affiliates. When we send a wish family to another state or country, that chapter will help facilitate the wish.

How often and where do you hold Wish Granter Trainings?

Wish Granter trainings are a combination of online and in-person trainings that are held on an as-needed (generally every other month) basis as determined by the need in each community and area. 

What is a Wish Granter Training?

Wish Granter Trainings are specialized trainings that consist of an overview of Make-A-Wish, the Wish Granting Process, meeting with the families and planning a wish. This is a specialized volunteer opportunity.

Together, we can help make dreams come true. ”
Make-A-Wish® Orange County & the Inland Empire
3230 El Camino Real
Suite 100
Irvine, CA 92602-1389
(714) 573-9474

Make-A-Wish® Orange County & the Inland Empire, Riverside Office
1650 Spruce
Suite 100
Riverside, CA 92507
(951) 321-0179