Month: July, 2012

A letter to the next Make-A-Wish Communications Intern


Dear new communications intern,

Welcome to Make-A-Wish ® America and congratulations for landing what is arguably one of the best non-profit internships in the country.

I must start off by saying I envy you to extreme amounts. As you are reading this, I am long gone from sitting in the cubicle that is now your new work space. My journey with Make-A-Wish has ended and yours is just beginning. I encourage you to take advantage of every second you get to spend here. I am taking away from this experience something that I could have never learned behind the walls of any classroom.

The communication internship is unique because it is like a two-in-one opportunity, not to mention, Josh and Mark are some of the most talented communications professionals I have ever encountered.  Coming into this, I have always felt a need to defend my love for communications. People always seem to label this field as easy and the “lazy degree” of college. After this internship, I feel no need at all to continue defending it. The work I have seen completed in my 3 months here speaks for itself.

In all honesty, what you are going to take away from this experience is going to be based on you opening up and taking chances. When I walked in here, I was unsure what to expect. I was timid, scared and often refrained from contributing to meetings. Now, as I am leaving and have loosened up, I encourage you to not hold back. This opportunity is of high caliber, take advantage of it.

There are things I have learned since starting here that I want to share with you; things I think may save you some time.


  1. Read the branding style guide tonight. You are going to need to know it.
  2. Do the e-learnings. I know they can seem boring, but they really do help. When I came in, I thought I knew all there was to know about Make-A-Wish. I was so wrong.
  3. Learn about the other departments and ask about the structure/chain of command immediately. I was so confused about who was who, who did what, etc. I felt like I should already know and was nervous to ask. Josh explained it to me one day, totally made things so much easier.


Note: I spent the majority of my internship working under Josh.

  1. Loves clean, concise, neat and simple. Stick to that when formatting documents
  2. Likes your contribution in meetings, really wants to know your ideas
  3. Make an email signature ASAP (one of those pet-peeves)
  4. Take chances, be creative. He likes that.
  5. Take notes for him in meetings. He won’t typically ask you to, but always liked when I did.
  6. He is very intelligent; ask him career advice and the like. He is more than willing to talk about it.
  7. Don’t be afraid to ask him questions. He is seriously so nice and wants you to be able to take a lot away from this.
  8. Ask him about being managing editor of a paper at 17. So impressive!!!
  9. He knows a ton about NBC/broadcast media. He used to be a meteorologist. Great convo starter and way to butter him up. He’s kind of a nerd about it and can name call letters and market sizes on the spot. Very cool though! 😉
  10. Ask him to learn about the daily wish, Be In The Know, and Week-In-Review. They are kind of tedious tasks, but interesting and he can definitely use the extra help with them.


  1. Mark is a FANTASTIC networking source. Get to know him and the people he knows. He is very, very experienced!
  2. Don’t take his jokes seriously and joke back. He is hilarious.
  3. He never remembers his passwords, LOL.
  4. Great for career advice.
  5. Don’t be afraid to ask him questions he loves to teach.
  6. Ask to write press releases for him. He is more than willing to teach his ways.
  7. Watch closely how he pitches to the media, very smooth.
  8. Listen when he is on the phone. Often he gets off the phone and asks you if you heard that. Then he will proceed to explain what he was talking about and what he did.
  9. Get career advice from him. He knows his stuff!

Finally, I hope you enjoy yourself as much as I did here. If you ever get bogged down and to feeling annoyed by your workload I encourage you to take breaks. Stop, go to, youtube, where ever and watch Make-A-Wish videos, read stories and look at pictures. It was always enough to motivate me.

One of the biggest things I tried to remember when I would get frustrated was that my current situation was only temporary and just a mood. The kids I am doing this for are in much worse situations.

Enjoy yourself and feel free to reach out to me if you have any questions at all.


Shae Snyder

Contact information:


The past: Nothing to undo

When contemplating the past, I find my iPhone to give me the best advice.. There is nothing to undo.

 Realize and embrace that.



A Thank You Letter for a Stranger

Dear stranger from afar,

Today was one of those days where I let my stress affect both my mood and attitude. I stayed late after work to try to get as much done as I could. As I left the building to make my way to the bus stop, I noticed you dressed nicely sitting at a near by bench. I also noticed your heavy stares.

Previously annoyed and frustrated, I clenched my jaw and tried to ignore you as I walked by… but you still stared. I looked over and attempted to make eye contact with you, to let you know that I KNEW you were staring at me. Our eyes didn’t meet when I attempted to acknowledge you. Instead, I noticed you focusing on my pants and shoes (well so I thought). Selfishly, I thought, “ugh, maybe she just likes my outfit..”

As I walked away, we did eventually make startled eye contact. You shifted a little when you noticed I had been watching you stare at me. I faked a smile and carried myself onward to the bus stop.

Now it was my turn to stare at you. I admired your hair and outfit from a far. You were so put together. As I was still bothered by your stares, my mind began to ponder if I looked okay or if I had something on me. As I began to turn away and try to ignore what just happened, I noticed a nice car pull up. It was your ride.

As I saw you stand up, I gasped. I became teary eyed and my throat began to tighten.

Through blurry eyes, as I watched you stand, I understood what you were staring at.

When you stood up at the car’s arrival, both of your feet turned drastically inward. With an extreme limp, you slowly made you way to the car.

As you struggled to get yourself in the front seat, I let the tears fall. You weren’t staring at my outfit, judging me. You were staring at my two normal legs.

I know God put you in my path this evening. I needed to run into you to be reminded that although today was rough, it was a temporary mood, not a permanent life-altering thing.

I know I will probably never see you again, but this is the best way I can think of saying thanks, in hoping maybe one day, you will see it. You have no idea how much you changed my attitude this evening.

I wish I could go back, sit down and have a long conversation together. Not about your situation or struggles, but just a normal, entertaining conversation. At the end of it, I’d thank you. I’d tell you how beautiful I thought you were as I admired you from afar.

And I’d tell you that tonight, as I lay down to fall asleep, I’ll be saying a prayer for you, your circumstances, and a healthy future ahead.

Thank you for being you.



Perfectly Imperfect

Recently, it has been brought to my attention that my facebook posts can come off as fake and insincere. This was unsettling information and honestly crushed me.

I have since then, mentally clarified my postings through self-evaluation, prayer, and advice from my dad and Baron Batch. I wanted to share the results of my thoughts..

Honestly, I am a small town girl just trying to make something of myself. I am not perfect. Sometimes cuss words slip my mouth. I get lazy with school. I often trip in public. I get nervous to talk in front of crowds. I get myself in messes. I say things I don’t mean. I unintentionally hurt others. I struggle with people trying to bring me down. I wake up every day and have to face my severe anxiety and mild OCD. I get frustrated. I am impatient. I have had to deal with my lack of self-confidence. I have my fair share of faults. I hate myself sometimes. I am far from unflawed.

I have to work daily to be who I am. My life doesn’t come easy and it isn’t handed to me. I work hard.

I post about my life to not to create this perfect image.. I post in hopes of inspiring others from my small town to chase their dreams, to inspire young ladies to stay classy and in hopes of changing someone’s day with my own attitude. I take what God gives me on a daily basis and spin it in the most positive manner I can.

I’ll end this post with what Baron Batch told me. It’s true and sums up exactly the results of my self-evaluation.

“Shae good to hear from you. The thing that I have learned is that there is always someone out there that wants to sit back and criticize. The best advice I can give is focus on the people that you know you have helped and blessed by being you. I am constantly being scrutinized by people that think I’m a jerk, rude, mean, or fake. But at the end of the day I know my own intentions and see the people that I effect in a positive way. Try your best to block out the negativity. Keep doing what you do and keep being you.” – Baron

Don’t let haters bring you down, friends. It’s satan’s way of getting under your skin.

Shine on darlings.


Stop and lend a hand, America. Have faith in our poor.

ImageYou’re walking along the crowded streets and see a homeless man holding a “PLEASE HELP” sign. You hold your breath as you walk by, refusing to allow your nose to get a whiff. You release your breath as you move past him, ignoring his sign, and grumbling as you take in a faint scent of the mustiness you thought you had avoided.

It is okay, we are all are guilty. We let our doubts of their sincerity for help supersede any ounce of sorrow we feel. Yet.. after celebrating the 4th of July yesterday, I have come to contemplate just how American is our country anymore? Isn’t it time we reconsider the realness of homelessness? We as society have created this unfair image of the homeless, leading to a mass decrease in lending them a hand. Today, we judge them.

But, that homeless man you judged was once someone’s new born baby boy.

He was once someone’s whole world, an innocent child that had no idea his future would lead him to a cold street corner. He was once like you and I. However, unlike us, fate wasn’t on his side.

Admit it.. You’re worried that dollar you could give will go to booze, cigs, drugs, sex..

The man you ignored, don’t you think he is embarrassed? He is filthy. He sees your eyes darting the other direction. He sees you take in that deep breath before you walk by. He knows you hear his begs. He watches you as you cross the street to avoid him, in your polished clothes and coffee in hand. He knows what he is and he is humiliated as he fades his calls for help. To be in the point in his life where he has to beg for money, whether it is for the wrong use or not, that man has to put his ego aside. No person can sit there in their own filth and beg without feeling remorse.

And I can’t help but wonder, as Christians, why we stopped offering them a tall glass of water in the name of Jesus Christ?

I challenge each of you reading this to start helping out our homeless. Put your doubts aside. They need a hand that they may never get, unless someone like you takes a chance on them.

Many just need a second chance, for someone to believe in them.. And if tomorrow you were in that situation.. I guarantee you.. You’d pray to God someone would believe in you.

Stop and lend a hand, America. Have faith in our poor.

Count your blessings, not your burdens

Today, I met two twin brothers with life threatening medical conditions. As I watched them in their wheelchairs this morning, I began to regret my grumbles at having to climb out of bed this morning…my complaints of having to get dressed… and my dread of getting ready. I watched them with their endless smiles as their wish was granted. When I looked at their parents, I started to tear up. The whole family was so happy. You could tell it was a happiness that was present long before this wish. And although they had every right to be unhappy due to their situation, you could tell that they have long accepted it and are a content bunch. As I continued to watch the wish unfold, I realized: this is a family counts their blessings, not their burdens.

I am taking another lesson away from Make-A-Wish this afternoon. We often forget how lucky we are just to be able stand up on our own two feet every morning, to dress ourselves and get ready for work. I hope you all recall your complaints today.. Were they really that much of an encumbrance?