It is always amazing to hear how our volunteer Angels find their way to the Village. For Steve Oehler, it was just another day at his job at Universal Orlando Resort when a special button a child was wearing caught his attention.
“I met a wish child while I was working at Universal and he told me about a place where he got to have ice cream for breakfast. I thought I need to see what this place is,” Steve said. When he arrived home later that day, Steve looked up Give Kids The World to find out what it was all about. After reading a little bit about our mission, he immediately signed up to become a volunteer. On July 2, 2011 he began his time as an Angel at the Village. For his first year, he set a goal of volunteering 52 hours, inspired by Universal’s Club 52 where they encourage their employees to volunteer 52 hours to represent an hour for every week of the year. He didn’t expect it to be so easy, but he achieved that number pretty quickly. So by the time 2012 started, he decided to aim higher.
He set his goal for 2012 at 365 hours, an hour for each day of the year. Once he reached that goal, he decided he had to increase it even more for 2013. His objective was to reach 914 total hours by the end of December, but this past Saturday he already surpassed that! He attributes his motivation to the joy he receives from interacting with families. His favorite volunteer position is in the Castle of Miracles, especially when he gets to help a wish child locate their star. “Seeing their face light up when we find their star on the ceiling or in the tower is just awesome,” Steve said.
The only downside to reaching each goal he’s set is now Steve knows each year he’s going to have to set his goal higher and higher. However, he doesn’t see it as a problem because he loves being an Angel so much that he says even this year after he reaches his goal, he’s still going to continue volunteering. “Setting the goals is just a fun thing for me, but I will volunteer no matter what because I love this place.”
Thank you, Steve, for your tireless dedication to the Village. We could not provide the magical experiences for our families without the commitment from Angels like you.