For Giving Tuesday we are reposting our podcast with the founder of One Simple Wish

After fostering and then adopting a newborn, Danielle found her life calling. A 2013 CNN Hero, Danielle has devoted herself to finding ways to help more than 400,000 children in foster care. Danielle founded One Simple Wish in 2008 with the goal of granting wishes to children in foster care across the country and those who’ve aged out of foster care. On One Simple Wish, people can  view wishes from foster children and make contributions that make those wishes come true. Wishes range from toys to school supplies, music lessons or trips to a theater or pool.

In our conversation, Danielle shares the deeply personal story that led her to foster care, her experiences with the foster system and why children in the foster system need our attention and support. If you have been thinking of ways to contribute and help others One Simple Wish was started with the goal of giving people an opportunity to connect with foster kids and easily make meaningful contributions.

Danielle is asking us to go to One Simple Wish and read the stories. She says, “just by you acknowledging their existence and their journey  and maybe sharing it with somebody else, or becoming more aware, you then become part of their village.” Research studies have shown a strong correlation between foster care and so many other critical issues in our society. Danielle’s vision is to connect people with foster kids while bringing light and awareness to the system, that in turn will hopefully lead to positive change. Danielle says, “We need more people recognizing that our foster system is incredibly broken and it is all of our problem.“ If you enjoy this conversation, please share it with a friend and help us share Danielle’s message and goal of helping kids in foster care.

Topics Discussed:

Danielle shares the story of how she started One Simple Wish, discussing the moment or series of events that led her to start the organization. She talks about the challenges faced and the goal of making a positive impact on the lives of children in foster care.

16:43 – 34:38: Danielle explains the importance of understanding the needs of foster children and young adults. She discusses the process of learning about their needs, collaborating with other agencies, and architecting the database to facilitate support and collaboration.

41:12 – 47:52  Danielle talks about the importance of creating personal connections with foster children and young adults. She discusses the organization’s efforts to connect volunteers with young people in a deeper way through mentoring opportunities or advice and guidance. 52:52 – 56:47 Danielle encourages people to read the stories of the young people they support. She highlights the power of storytelling and invites people to ask questions and engage with the organization to become part of the community effort to help foster children. 56:53 – 1:04:38 Danielle shares insights into her day-to-day life running One Simple Wish. She discusses reading emails, granting wishes, and engaging in conversations with donors and young people. She emphasizes the importance of open communication and sharing her own story.