Good Citizen Interview With Kisa Heyer, Executive Director, Dream Foundation

 

Kisa Heyer is Executive Director of Dream Foundation, an organization dedicated to making dreams come through for adults with life-threatening illnesses. Here, Kisa shares a bit about her work, including how she stays positive and motivates others.

Brad: What is the most inspiring part of the work you get to do with Dream Foundation?

Kisa: Knowing that in the course of any given work day, almost 10 individuals living with life­‐threatening illness are being granted a dream--whether it's receiving the comfort of a basic needs item or closure in the form of a family reunion--working at Dream Foundation gives me the privilege of addressing the emotional and psychological needs of terminally ill patients as well as those of their loved ones and caretakers. It is truly an honor to be able to enhance the quality of life for more than 2,500 terminally ill adults and their families each year. I am grateful to share the vision of creating such a meaningful impact with my colleagues and our national network of supporters.

Brad: Facing the hardships of clients on a daily basis must be difficult. What do you do to stay positive?

Kisa: While working with individuals and families during their time of greatest need can be challenging, the work we do is also incredibly rewarding. The stories of appreciation we receive from the families of our dream recipients inspires me on a daily basis. And at all levels of our organization, we truly feel grateful to each and every dream recipient who entrusts us with his or her dreams. Knowing that we are able to improve their end-­‐of-­‐ life care and help them to feel empowered to control just one small part of their final narratives - from having a comfortable chair to rest in or creating final memories with loved ones - means we are able to have a significant impact on those we serve. This is a driving force behind the work we do and our approach to helping others.

Brad: How do you encourage others to stay motivated?

Kisa: The incredible team at Dream Foundation is dedicated to the mission of bringing comfort to individuals at the end of life. While I often encourage people to see the big picture and focus on the impact of our work, it is the strength and spirit of our dream recipients and their families that truly inspires us to continue to do this important work day-­‐in and day-­‐out. I am continually amazed at the ability of a dream to not just serve the recipient, but bring comfort, peace and joy to their loved ones and the caring and charitable communities we support nationwide.

Brad: What does helping others and being a Good Citizen mean to you?

Kisa: Being a good citizen means many things to me, including demonstrating a relentless compassion and fearless kindness to those in need. Since joining Dream Foundation, it has been my privilege to witness firsthand the deep compassion and thoughtful consideration each staff member places on every dream request. To work closely with this team, in addition to donors and supporters, corporate partners and an extensive nationwide team of volunteers, is humbling and amazing.

You can find out more about Kisa's work at Dream Foundation.