Make-A-Wish Wyoming has announced its 2022 Volunteer of the year and it is Cheyenne resident Sandi Riley.

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Riley was recognized at the Stories of Light event back in November of this year, where it was revealed that she has helped over 13 kiddos make their wish and live their dream.

"A wish impacts the lives of wish kids, their families, our communities, and the people who make a wish happen through their generous support of our mission," a press release from Make-A-Wish Wyoming stated. "Sandi is a wish mom herself and she will never forget what Make-A-Wish Wyoming did for her family. Her previous experience as Wish mom gives her a special connection to the Make-A-Wish mission and the families she works with. Deciding to become a volunteer 11 years ago was an easy choice for Sandi."

Going from a recipient to a volunteer was an easy choice for Riley. She experienced the magic of Make-A-Wish, and she wanted to help offer that magic to other Wyoming kiddos.

“I wanted to give back as a volunteer, but I felt like I had so much more to give because I knew firsthand what these families were going through," Riley stated. "It’s so rewarding being a volunteer, from having had a child with cancer of my own, to meeting other wish families and kids, and seeing their smiling faces when the wishes are granted.”

Riley said being named Volunteer of the Year is an incredible honor for her. She had tears in her eyes as she spoke to the crowd at the Stories of Light event.

“I’m totally honored and thankful," Riley said. "This was never expected. My heart was so full being honored as Volunteer of the Year at the Gala as well as seeing the wish kids’ smiling faces and having fun. So, to be a part of that and be named Volunteer of the Year was just amazing."

Riley said it was hard to pick what her favorite part of volunteering was, because each kid is different - with different interests, different illnesses, and different dreams. But, if she had to pick, Riley said that the moment when she could tell the families that their wish had been granted; that's the best part.

"She loves meeting the family and seeing all the joy a wish can bring," the release stated. "From start to finish, every wish is different and provides a new opportunity to make a small impact in a child’s life."

That's exactly what Riley has done over the last 11 years.

“It’s not always just about the wish. The first time I meet a wish kid and hear their stories is one of my favorite parts of being a volunteer.”

Make-A-Wish Wyoming wrote that they currently have volunteer opportunities in Casper and Gillette. Interest parties can visit this website to find out more information.

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