Keep Wishin’ grants end-of-life wishes

Heather Weers
Kim Brooks
Express Editor

     In 2005, Heather Weers’ grandfather’s life unexpectedly changed when he went to live in a nursing home.

   “He didn’t get to do all of the things he had hoped to do,” she shared. “He had a dream of fishing one last time…”

   Has it happened, a “kind nurse” who worked at the nursing home arranged for Weers’ grandfather, his wife, and their grandkids to spend time together fishing on the Wapsipinicon River.

   Her grandfather passed in 2006, not long after that precious time they all had together.

   “It was such a special day for him and it’s been a memory that has stuck with me for the past 16 years,” Weers said.

   That experience prompted Weers to do the same for other families and elderly people.

   “Not everyone plans to go to a nursing home or assisted living, or plans on being on hospice or homebound, and I can only imagine there are a lot of wishes in Jones County that we will be able to help come true.”

   This is where a new 501(c)3 non-profit comes from: “Keep Wishin.’”

   The goal of this organization is to provide a wish for a resident of a Jones County care center, assisted living, or receiving hospice or homebound.

   Weers, herself, stays busy managing a few other non-profits in the county, but said, “You never know what tomorrow will bring.” She didn’t want to wait to grant wishes, knowing time could be of the essence.

   “You have an unknown amount of time on Earth, so why not spread as much happiness as possible while you are able to?” she proposed.

   Keep Wishin’ fulfills two types of wishes: Simple Wishes and Living Life Wishes.

   Simple Wishes could be items like clothing, furniture, hearing aids, or an appliance.

   “Items not covered by insurance or Medicare,” Weers said.

   Living Life Wishes might entail requests such as riding on a motorcycle, going fishing, flying in a plane, going to prom, or attending a sporting event.

   The idea would be to grant four wishes a month, but that all hinges on donations.

   “It will depend on what the wish is and the donations received,” Weers said of the timeframe.

   Keep Wishin’ is collaborating with the Anamosa Care Center, Monticello Nursing and Rehabilitation Center (MNRC), Pennington Square, Woodland Park Assisted Living, and Pinicon Place to see to it that wishes are granted. Jones County JETS is also assisting to provide transportation to make these wishes come true.

   Weers said when she brought the idea to these facilities, everyone was immediately on board. She said they’ll all working together to grant wishes, no matter where the person resides.

   For instance, if a resident at the Anamosa Care Center has a wish and someone from MNRC has a connection to make that wish a reality, everyone works together.

   “We really don’t know what wishes we’ll receive,” she said.

   Right now, residents within these facilities are filling out applications.

   “We want the wishes to come from the hospice and homebound individuals,” Weers noted.

   Hoping to grant a wish by the end of January, Weers shared they just received their first wish request on Jan. 12…

   “We have a book lover who would love to go to Barnes & Noble to browse the books and hopefully pick out a new book or two. Also, being a lover of Hot Wheels cars, (this person) would like to browse a second-hand store in hopes of finding some Hot Wheels cars to purchase. This sweet individual feels lonely and feels like a trip to Cedar Rapids to shop would refresh her life.”

   Donations for this particular wish, or future wishes can be sent to Keep Wishin’, P.O. Box 391, Anamosa, IA 52205.

   All donations to Keep Wishin’ are tax deductible.

   “We’ll gladly take donations anytime throughout the year; wishes will be granted all year long,” offered Weers.

   Keep Wishin’ has plans to do something extra special for those who served, including veterans, former EMS personnel, law enforcement, firefighters, etc. Weers said they want to be able to “thank veterans for what they have done and show them that the community remembers and cares.

   To reach out to Weers, email her at

   “We will strive to grant wishes that will make a signiant impact on an individual’s quality of life and bring them great job,” she said. “A wish fulfilled can change a life, but a story can change the world. This will not only impact the individuals whose wish is being granted, but also the families, friends, and caregivers.”


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