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How To Volunteer

We depend on people like you

Make-A-Wish Central New York relies heavily on volunteers for every aspect of our business. Volunteers are truly the heart of our organization, and we would love for you to join us! Read the information below to learn more!

We depend on people like you!

We match volunteers to positions based on ability, interests and availability. Consider your goals, skills and purpose when you volunteer for the opportunity that best suits you. Note: Many volunteer positions require a background check plus ongoing training.


  • Fundraising – Help us secure donated goods and services, write grants and/or sponsorship proposals, build partnerships with local companies, conduct research on giving campaigns conducted by local companies, organize a frequent-flier donation campaign, sell paper Make-A-Wish stars or plan/organize an external event to benefit Make-A-Wish.
  • Office – Assist with miscellaneous projects at the office, including phone calls, wish research, mailings, etc. 
  • Speaker’s Bureau – Speak at community, school, business or civic events to increase support for Make-A-Wish while educating audiences about the Make-A-Wish mission. 
  • Special Events – Plan, organize, and implement successful Make-A-Wish fundraising events by working on event committees, helping out on the event day and/or participating in the event.
  • Translator – Some wish kids come from non-English-speaking families, and we need help to determine their wish. Translators have the option of becoming fully trained wish granting volunteers. They can also provide short-term support as needed.
  • Wish Granting – Wish granters meet the family, help the wish child determine the wish and act as a liaison between Make-A-Wish staff members and the family during the planning process.  Wish granters must be at least 18 years old and must attend a mandatory in-depth training session.

To get started today, please read and complete the six steps below.

Thank you for your interest in Make-A-Wish Central New York. 

STEP ONE: Attend a Volunteer Information Session

Prospective volunteers must attend one of our monthly Volunteer Information Sessions, a one-hour overview of our mission and how you can help. Sessions are held at Make-A-Wish Central New York’s office in East Syracuse on a quarterly basis (January, April, July, October).

NOTE: New volunteer sign up is temporarily on hold as we welcome and onboard our new manager of volunteers & outreach.  Check back soon for more information!

STEP TWO: Complete a volunteer application

After attending the Volunteer Information Session, prospective volunteers will be provided with a volunteer application. This application is our opportunity to get to know you better and place you in a volunteer role that best fits your passion and skills. Applications may be returned via mail, email, or fax to:

Make-A-Wish Central New York
Volunteer Services
5005 Campuswood Drive
East Syracuse, NY 13057

Fax: 315.475.9476

STEP THREE: Be screened and interviewed

After submission, our Volunteer Screening Team -- composed of Make-A-Wish Central New York staff and volunteer leaders -- will screen and process your application. Certain volunteer positions will require a brief interview with our Volunteer Screening Team to ensure a suitable fit for the volunteer role. Interviews may be conducted in person, via web video conferencing, or teleconference.

STEP FOUR: Attend an in-depth training

Certain volunteer roles require an in-depth training prior to becoming an official volunteer. These trainings are conducted in person and attendance for the entire duration of the training is required. The dates and locations of these trainings are sent to qualified applicants via email.

STEP FIVE: Criminal background check

Due to the nature of our work, select volunteer positions require the successful completion of a criminal background check every three years. Make-A-Wish Central New York does not employ or utilize as a volunteer any individual who has been convicted of a crime that (a) victimizes children, (b) is sexual in nature, or (c) involves violence, fraud, or significant theft. Please contact us at with any questions related to past convictions and/or our background screening process.

STEP SIX: Get involved!

Qualified volunteers are placed into our Make-A-Wish Central New York volunteer database and will begin receiving communications relevant to available volunteer opportunities. If you have completed each of the required steps to becoming a volunteer and do not receive emails from us, please contact us at


Our volunteer services team is happy to answer any questions you may have. Please contact us at

We Are Wish Granters

Volunteering at Make-A-Wish

Volunteering at Make-A-Wish

Make-A-Wish® Central New York
5005 Campuswood Drive
East Syracuse, NY 13057
(315) 475-9474
Toll Free (800) 846-9474