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|Articles - October 2010|
|Monday, September 27, 2010|
Page 2 of 3
No. 2 Best Large Nonprofit
Make-A-Wish Foundation of Oregon
Magic fuels the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Oregon, which explains the crown and wand displayed at every desk.The mission is simple, says communications manager Kelly O’Malley-McKee: “All we do is grant wishes.” Granting 180 wishes a year to children with severe medical conditions requires a lot of coordination and teamwork though, and when the magic loses focus executive director Andrew Asato is there to help. “[He] is our anchor,” O’Malley-McKee says.
“[Asato] is the best communicator I’ve ever met,” says wish coordinator Samantha Piwonka. The mission and the staff are the top two reasons the employees love working at the Make-A-Wish Foundation, but Piwonka’s amazing parking spot is third on her list. Sometimes the small benefits outweigh the big ones.The flexible work environment at this Portland nonprofit allows the employees to balance their personal and professional lives. “We have to be happy outside of work to be happy inside of work,” says corporate alliances manager Carynne Drake. When the staff isn’t granting wishes, they are enjoying each other’s company. The 14 Oregon employees eat lunch together every day.
This is the second year that the Make-A-Wish Foundation has made the 100 Best list. Perhaps because many of the employees are looking forward to their three-week sabbatical, which they receive after five years.
The employees realize their work environment is unique, where talk of storm troopers, fairies and pirates is not uncommon.
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