Arctic Warrior Wishes

The Armed Services YMCA Arctic Warrior Wishes program is designed to match service members or military families throughout the state of Alaska with community members who want to grant holiday wishes and make impactful human connections with those who serve.

Wish Granter's FAQs

SEE THEIR WISHES

Who can grant wishes for a service member or military family?

Wish granters can be anyone who has the desire and ability to help a military family make their holiday wish come true.

When and where can I start looking for a wish to match with?

Wish listings will be available beginning November 2, and can be responded to through December 4. You can find the listings on our volunteer portal here.

If I match with a service member, when and how do I deliver their wish?

We ask that all wishes be granted no later than December 11, unless you and your match have mutually arranged otherwise. The delivery method will be specified in the wish listing and will be one of the following options: delivery by mail; delivery at one of our ASYMCA Welcome Centers, or by other arrangement as mutually agreed upon by both parties.

Can I be matched with more than one wish maker?

Yes. The only limit to the number of wishes you can grant is the limit you make for yourself.

Is the information I submit confidential?

Any personal information you provide will not be shared outside our organization without your permission. If you are matched with a wish maker, at some point, some personal information will need to be exchanged in order to fulfill their wish. We have placed the ball in the wish-maker’s court to determine how contact is initiated, so if you match with a family who prefers to make the initial contact with their wish granter, your email address and first name will be provided to them. If you would like to see how the wish maker’s requests will be shared with the community, please see the samples we have provided on our volunteer portal here.

How will my information be used?

We may use your information to reach out to you to verify information, or to follow up on your experience. You will also be a member of our Volunteer database, and may receive emails about future volunteer opportunities, which you may opt out of at any time. Otherwise, your first name and email may be shared with the family you have request to me matched with in order to establish contact. No other information will be shared outside our organization without your permission.

Is there a guarantee that I will be matched with a military family or service member?

No. It’s possible that you may not find the right fit for what you are able to share. 

What if I want to be matched with a family, but can’t grant their wish exactly as requested?

Our wish makers are aware that their wishes may not be granted in full, or exactly as requested. There is nothing wrong with asking to be matched to see if what you can offer will work for them. We just ask that you be understanding if your chosen family declines the match.

Can I withdraw from the program or refuse a match once it’s been made?

If you have not responded to a listing and been matched, you are under no obligation to do so. You can withdraw simply by not responding to any listing.

If you have been matched with wish maker, you still have a right to decline the match if you feel like it’s not a good fit. Your wisher maker also reserves that same right.  We ask that if you choose to decline the match, that you let your wish maker know so that another wish granter may have the opportunity.

Wish Maker's FAQs

Please note that the submission period to make a wish has closed.

Who is eligible to be a wish maker?

Military members and/or their dependents can apply with the following criteria:

  • Rank E6 or lower
  • On Full-time active duty status, AGR, or activated reserves with orders for 31 or more days.
  • Any branch of service, including Alaska Guard and Coast Guard
  • Stationed in Alaska (cannot be stationed on Alaska for temporary orders of less than 6 months)

Are single service member eligible?

Yes. This program is not limited to families.

Who can submit an application?

Applications must be submitted by the service member, or by their dependent. Dependents can complete the application on behalf of their household, but should be sure to provide the service member’s information as directed on the application. Please only submit one application per household.

What’s the application period?

Eligible participants may submit an application beginning October 15. The deadline to apply is November 12.

Is the information I submit confidential?

Any personal information you provide will not be shared outside our organization without your permission. If you are matched with a wish granter, at some point, some personal information will need to be exchanged in order to make your wish come true. We have made an effort to provide you with as much control over what is publicly shared as possible, and to be transparent about what form fields will be publicly displayed. Specific information, such as your name and contact info will only be shared with a wish granter if you chose to have them initiate contact. If you would like to see how wish makers’ requests will be shared with the community, please see the samples we have provided on our volunteer portal here.

How will my information be used?

The application we provide asks for a variety of information, some of which will be shared publicly. The wish listings that will be available for the community to see will not include your name, email, phone number, or address. What will be displayed is the service member’s rank, branch of service, and region, your wish, your story if provided, and your contact and delivery preferences exactly as they are listed on the application. If you are matched with a wish granter, your first name and email may be provided to them, depending on the contact method you have chosen. If you would like to see how wish makers’ requests will be shared with the community, please see the samples we have provided at our volunteer portal here.

Are there limitations to what I can request for my wish?

Outside of requests that are inappropriate for public consumption, there are no rules or limitations. We do advise you to be sensible with your expectations. You can certainly wish for a 2-week European vacation for a family of 8, but there is a strong likelihood such a wish may not be granted.

Is there a guarantee that my wish will be granted?

Much like sharing your Christmas wishes with Santa, there are no guarantees that your wish will be granted, or be granted exactly as you have requested. If you are matched with an adopter, we encourage you to have an open mind.

What are my obligations for participating in this program?

That depends. If you are not matched with a wish maker, you have no obligations. If you are matched with a wish maker, your obligations are as follows:

  • Make timely contact with your wish maker by either initiating contact, or responding to their attempt to establish contact within 72 hours.
  • Be courteous and respectful in your communications with your wish granter.
  • Inform the ASYMCA if contact attempts fail, or if you are otherwise experiencing difficulties with your match.
  • Inform the ASYMCA if you want to withdraw from the program.
  • Expect the ASYMCA to follow up with you on your experience.

Can I withdraw from the program once I have submitted an application?

Yes. You can withdraw at any time, just contact us and let us know you want to be removed from the program. If you have already been matched and have made contact with your wish granter, you will need to notify them that you’re withdrawing from the program.

Can I refuse a match?

Yes, you can refuse a match. We ask that if you choose to decline the match, that you let your wish granter know, and that you be kind and respectful. You will also need to contact the ASYMCA if you would like your wish to be re-listed.