Almost every child, and many adults, have a wish for Christmas. But imagine, if you can, how rewarding it would be if you had the opportunity to grant those wishes.

Almost every child, and many adults, have a wish for Christmas. But imagine, if you can, how rewarding it would be if you had the opportunity to grant those wishes.
Arla Price, of Neosho, had the joyous job of making kids' wishes come true when she was the Executive Director of the "Make a Wish" Foundation of Missouri.
Price loved her job because, as she said, "I believe in childhood."
Although she loved her job, it was very challenging because it was up to her to make the wishes come true. She found the money and made every arrangement.
To be in the Make a Wish program, a child must be in a life-threatening condition, be between the ages of  two and 18 years, live in the state, and be recommended by a doctor.
Wishes come in all sizes and shapes. Price said when she was the executive director, the most common wish was a visit to Disneyworld, but wishes also included some simple requests as a puppy or a horse, Superbowl tickets or a bedroom makeover were the most popular requests from girls.
When a child's wish is granted, every member of the family is included. Price recalled that a child in a family of 10 asked to go to Disneyworld. Price was responsible for raising the money for pay for plane tickets, van rentals in Florida and all the other details.
"Sometimes you have to get creative," Price said. She appealed to many places for free items or discounts and usually got good responses.
One of the most unusual requests was from a young boy who wanted to be in a movie. Price set out to make it happen. She called studios and film makers and had a couple of nibbles but nothing worked out. Finally, she got an offer from a film company that was making a film in New England. It was about an orphanage in the 1940s. The boy was perfect for the role, the filmmakers said.
So Make a Wish sent his family to New England, and he appeared in two scenes of the movie. He had no speaking parts because he would have to join the actors guild. But the cameraman made close-up of him that went into the picture.
The film, "Cider House Rules," won two academy awards.
On one occasion, the child's wish was to travel, so a trip to Alaska was planned for the entire family. When they arrived in Anchorage, someone from Make a Wish Alaska took over and kept tabs on the family as they toured the state. As part of their oversight, the Alaska representative made sure the family knew the location of every hospital.
Today Price is working at home part-time for Hospice, is involved with her church and does a lot of sewing. She has made several mission trips with her church and enjoys making lap robes for the elderly with her sewing group.
But for 12 years, Price got to grant wishes for special kids. It required much planning and much hard work. However, Price said it was all worth it when she saw the smiles on the kids faces.
"I loved my job, but I hated the funerals and the constant pressure for money," she said. "However it was so good to see kids forget, for a day, that they were sick. It was all worth it."