For this month’s Heroic Act, we are bringing you an exceptionally inspiring and heart-wrenching organization: the Bucket List Foundation. The foundation was established by Kimberly Iverson, a hospice nurse who had the desire to help her terminally ill patients fulfill their last and deepest wishes. She began to ask her patients what they most wanted to do or experience in their life, and through her own resources, she would make these dreams come true. Of the dreams she’s heard, she says, “Most are not looking for a fantastical wish. In fact, many of the responses seem like such simple requests; however, because of their disease process and physical limitations, financial means or emotional outlook on life, these simple wishes seem grandiose and unattainable.” In 2011, Kimberly turned her heartwarming passion into the Bucket List Foundation with a dream of her own to enhance the lives of terminally ill seniors and promote the optimism of making the most out of life.
The generosity of the foundation has granted a multitude of wishes to terminally ill seniors; they wish to be reunited with loved ones, travel back to their hometowns, ride in a helicopter, fly a fighter plane, or go deep sea fishing, none of which they would be able to manage or afford on their own. The foundation makes travel arrangements for family to visit or medical arrangements which allow the patients to travel. Sometimes the wishes take creativity and resourcefulness to fulfill, but sometimes, like in the case of 84 year old Delores who simply asked for the chance to ride the metro light rail through Phoenix and then go out for lunch, all it takes is time and compassion. The foundation always gives more to the seniors than is asked of them, as Kimberly and her family often are personally involved in aiding and spending time with the seniors in their last days. Kimberly involves her children in each wish granted and says she hopes to “teach our children at this young age to appreciate, give back unselfishly and love this generation who has given so much to theirs.” That is undoubtedly a lesson that should be imparted on all children.
In taking on volunteers for wish fulfillment, Bucket List Foundation takes the time to match volunteers purposefully with each need to guarantee a valuable experience for all. Their volunteers work both directly and indirectly with the terminally ill seniors from granting wishes to participating in community outreach and fundraising opportunities, so anyone willing to volunteer will be able to find their calling within the foundation.
To get involved with Bucket List Foundation, or to read more about the end of life wishes they’ve granted, grab a box of tissues and visit their website.