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Janice Poplawski

  • Janice (right) with fellow wish granter, Kathy Pecue, and wish kid Grace.

  • Janice with her husband, Hank, and son, Nicholas.

What brought you into Make-A-Wish Vermont and why did you want to be a Wish Granter?

I was looking for a volunteer opportunity and have always been intrigued by Make-A-Wish. I wanted to be able to DO something that did not involve fundraising. I wanted to make a connection with people and kids are a soft spot for me. I loved the Make-A-Wish premise and the idea of being a wish granter sounded extremely rewarding. I mean, how often do you get to ask someone what their one true wish would be and actually get to make it happen?!

I researched the responsibilities online, applied for a wish granting position, attended a training session and could not wait for my first wish.

I have never regretted it! 

What has been your most ‘magical moment’?

There have been several... but to name one would be my very first wish for Andrew. He chose to go to Disney and working with the family was delightful. They invited us to their home after they returned from their wish for a video viewing of their trip and during the video, Andrew started to cry because of the memories it evoked.  It made me tear up! That was the moment I knew these wishes really have a profound impact on the child and their family.  

What do you do when you’re not being a ‘fairy godparent’?

I am a Senior Director of Product Readiness at I have a husband Henry, a son Nicholas (15) and a yellow lab Gunnar. 

When I am not working I love to run, ski, golf, hike, read, and watch my son play lacrosse. 

What do you believe it is that makes wishes so special for wish kids and their families?

I think it provides a much needed respite for the kids and their families to focus on something positive, something they can look forward to, and something that makes them dream.    

I read this quote on the Make-A-Wish website and I firmly believe it's true."It is possible that wishing enabled these children to dream about that seemed unobtainable, out of reach, and thus created an experience of achieving the impossible.” 

"And if the impossible can happen once, kids can believe in their ability to live with or even overcome their illnesses. That’s the real purpose of a wish." 

What would you wish for?

This is a hard one! I would most likely wish for a trip to a French Polynesian island like Bora Bora to stay in an overwater bungalow.  

What’s the most adventurous thing you’ve ever done?

I am terrified of heights and last summer I did the zip line at Stowe Mountain!

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Make-A-Wish® Vermont
431 Pine Street
Suite 214
Burlington, VT 05401
(802) 864-9393
Wish Emergency Cell Phone (802) 399-6394