As a wish coordinator for the Make-A-Wish Oklahoma chapter, I like to say that I have a LOT of best friends here in “Wish World.” These are folks who lend time and energy, or even financial resources to help make magical wishes happen for VERY deserving Oklahoma kids.
Over the years I’ve been serving in this role, there is one “best friend” who really stands out. In my book, a wish coordinator couldn’t ask for a better “best” friend than Greg Groves, a Customer Service Supervisor for Southwest Airlines at Will Rogers World Airport. He and his Team have truly gone out of their way to serve and assist our chapter in granting travel wishes to our kids with life-threatening illnesses.
When our chapter is sending more than 150 families on wish trips each year, it is important to know that they are in good hands along the way. Ideally, I would go on every wish trip to ensure that logistics run smoothly and that travel is safe and easy for the families. Since this isn’t possible, I have to rely on folks who care for our families just as much as I do. Greg and his Southwest Team do just that.
For many of our families, flying on an airplane for the first time can be a big deal in itself. Add to that extensive medical needs or equipment, and the whole experience can be daunting. In these instances, Greg and his Team always offer a special “dry run” for parents to be able to experience exactly what it will be like for them to navigate checkin and security, asking as many questions along the way as needed. Greg organizes these runs himself and works with TSA to make sure that our families have exactly what they need to put their hearts and minds at ease for their upcoming travel days.
I truly cannot thank Greg and our friends at Southwest enough. Wishes help provide hope, strength, and joy to our families when they need it the most, and our wishes would not be possible without the support of best friend Greg and his advocacy for the Make-A-Wish mission.
Keep reading, and you'll find a note from Denise, a wish mom. Her experience will tell you how much people like Greg and the Southwest Team give from the heart.
“My nine year-old son, Fletcher, has a respiratory condition. His wish was to go to the Florida theme parks, and we had a great experience with Southwest. The flight was truly our biggest concern, simply because we had never flown with Fletcher and his ventilator. Greg walked us through a dry run a few weeks before our trip, giving us several tips that were extremely helpful.
The day of our trip, Greg was there to meet us and help us through the airport experience. He didn't leave us until we were on the plane! On our way to Orlando, the Flight Crew was very accommodating and patient. What probably meant the most to me on the trip was how one of the Flight Attendants interacted with my son—she was so friendly and kind to Fletcher, and she talked directly to him. Many times, people ask me things, rather than speaking to him. Fletcher loved being asked if he wanted something to eat or drink.
You can't imagine how much stress the People of Southwest helped relieve for our family. We are so grateful!!”
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