An Exemplary Genie with a Golden Heart: Make-A-Wish’s Ana Chua
By Kritzia Santos and Booie Segovia
For February 2017 we want to celebrate the month of love featuring exceptional people who have Golden hearts that constantly love and give back to others without thought for themselves.
What is a golden heart? Generally speaking it is a person’s heart that is generous, kind, full of love and has continuous faith in humanity and the joy of life.
There are a lot of people who have golden hearts and one of them is my friend Ana Chua, President of Make-A-Wish Philippines. In 2005, she started as a donor and humbly and silently picked the Foundation as her Charity beneficiary without asking anything in return.
She then became a volunteer and tirelessly purchased wish items and organized grants for children in need, ensuring a memorable and meaningful wish grant presentation and party which would end with her personally driving the wish family to their home. She then became the head of wish referrals where she would diligently go to hospitals to interview children to find out what their wish would be, fixing their paper work and making sure that the children were deserving and appropriate candidates for such wish grants, true to the Foundation’s vision and mission.
Our golden heart, Chua, with 11 year-old Kenneth (ill with Beta-thalassemia), one of our wish kids. Here, Chua and the countless volunteers in MAWFP (Make-A-Wish Foundation Philippines) remind us all that Christmas can be celebrated any day and everyday of the year
Today, Chua is the President of Make-A-Wish Philippines.
Being President of this noble Foundation is no easy task even though it is a volunteer position. The job takes up a lot of her time and energy and can be emotionally challenging. Waking up each day with the mission of how to grant wishes to children with life threatening illnesses is a huge challenge but Chua makes the wish children her inspiration. She has so much positive energy and joy in her work and with every aspect of the wish grants in which she is involved.
She gets her energy from the hope, strength and joy that the wish children express to her. Everyone can see Chua’s sincere desire to provide something special and unique to all wish children and their families during a very challenging part of their lives. She truly has a golden heart that is contagious. People around her feel it, see it and want to share it with her.
Chua at the Make-A-Wish Genie night in December 2016
In a Christmas speech she gave, she thanked all the Foundation’s volunteers for sharing all of their time, resources, efforts and of course love with the wish grants program. She further emphasized that “love does not ask for anything in return”.
“The only return we see is how their eyes light up, how their smiles become wide and sweet and how some are brought to tears because of sheer happiness. That is our reward as bringers and heralds of happiness… No matter how brief or how fleeting it may be. Our true reward is to bring hope, strength and joy to all these beautiful lives”, Chua shares.
One of Chua’s favourite things in life is volunteering and being able to grant wishes to children in need. Chua with 7 year-old Brenda (ill with Coronary Heart Disease)
When asked why she keeps on volunteering for Make-A-Wish, Chua says “I love wish-granting, and with every wish grant I have a completely different experience. It gives a real sense of fulfilment knowing that you were able to make a child and their whole family happy. Wish-granting is truly a blessing and a gift,” Chua says.
Chua has organized, planned and participated in hundreds of wish grants and her generous heart is always there to support the family and be part of making the wish child’s day uniquely special.
Through research, Make-A-Wish knows that 99% of parents reported that the wish experience gave their children increased feelings of happiness and hope.
Apart from Make-A-Wish, Chua spreads her light and love to others as an amazing daughter and sister to her family. She enjoys and works as an events planner and has a flexible schedule that makes a lot of time available for Make-A-Wish and many other activities. Chua may be busy with all these but she makes time for herself too, and this is shown in her active lifestyle that includes being awesome at Zumba and yoga.
Having a golden heart also means having time to enjoy life and the beauty of nature, as well as giving back to others.
Make-A-Wish Genie, Chua, enjoys life and celebrates it in Zumba and yoga with her closest friends
It was once said that “charity is not charity unless you make it a way of life”. For a decade, and more, I have seen Chua’s dedication and love for Make-A-Wish, helping so many children and their families with life threatening medical conditions.
Truly, she is a lady with one big golden heart.
Volunteers and wish kids at the annual lighting of the Manila Peninsula Christmas Tree – one of the organization’s long time partners. Thank you #ManilaPeninsula for your continued support in making wishes come true. We are truly grateful 🙏 for this long standing partnership. #makeawishph
Please help make wishes come true just like Ana Chua through the Make-A-Wish® Philippines. MAWFP is the first and only non-profit wish-granting organization in the country. Make-A-Wish Philippines’ mission is to grant the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions to enrich the human experience with hope, strength, and joy.
Find out more about the power of a wish.