BENEFITING: Wish of a Lifetime
Bill is a 75 year old resident of Loveland, CO, who after the darkest of childhoods immigrated to the US and raised a loving family of his own. Bill’s childhood was spent struggling to survive during WWII. At the outset of hostilities, Bill’s family found themselves dealing with the harsh realities of living in Russia and being of German descent. At the tender age of 4, when national allegiances and geopolitics were far beyond a child’s comprehension, Bill was nonetheless forced to face these devastating realities head on. Fearing that he would not survive his family’s arduous relocation to Siberia, they made the heartbreaking decision to leave Bill behind. Bill remembers his brother waving goodbye, his feet dangling off the truck that would separate the family forever.
Bill found himself living with cruel relatives, forced to sleep alone in a barn before eventually finding a happier living situation in Austria. Even then, Bill’s Russian upbringing necessitated hiding from Nazi forces, and he was eventually forced into a displaced persons camp in Salzburg. After the conclusion of hostilities, Bill befriended a cook at the camp and would often sneak Bill extra scraps of food. When the American GI’s heard of the cook’s generosity they began saving food for the people of the camp.
For Bill, whose childhood to that point had been characterized by fear and loss, the kindness of the Cook and the GI’s became a representation of the happiest time of his life. To hear Bill explain his time in Salzburg is to hear someone express the joy of being alive after an intense drawn-out struggle to survive. Bill wishes to return to Salzburg, to the locations that provided refuge from a dark and sad childhood and where his perseverance and survival have turned into memories of joy and love.
Contributions to sponsor a specific wish will be used for that wish, but in the event that unforeseen circumstances prevent carrying out a wish as planned, the contributions for that wish will be used to at the discretion of Wish of a Lifetime to further its charitable purposes and objectives. If contributions are received over and above what is necessary to fund a specific wish, the excess funds will be used at the discretion of Wish of a Lifetime to further its charitable purposes and objectives.