Community Involvement, Our Promise

Our Promise 2021: Making wishes come true

Make a wish foundation volunteers and a child.
Centinela State Prison Sergeant Ericka Valencia, left, and Correctional Officer Lydda Ochoa help tell Juan his dream of visiting Universal Studios is about to come true. (Photo taken pre-COVID.)

Widely known for helping make wishes come true for children with critical illnesses, the Make-A-Wish Foundation is one of thousands of nonprofits that can be supported via Our Promise: California State Employees Giving Back at Work. Together, Make-A-Wish chapters have granted more than 500,000 wishes for children worldwide.

The San Diego chapter of Make-A-Wish is committed to making dreams come true, including helping a child meet his heroes – real astronauts – and creating a brand-new smile for a young cancer patient whose medications affected the health of her teeth. It is work so impactful that Lydda Ochoa gives her time to support the organization, in addition to her busy schedule as a Correctional Officer at Centinela State Prison (CEN).

Her work with Make-A-Wish included sharing in the wish reveal for a child in the Imperial Valley whose wish was to go to Universal Studios Hollywood with his family. Ochoa and CEN Sergeant Ericka Valencia volunteered at the reveal party, where Juan found out he was going to get his wish.

“Any opportunity I have to share about this amazing organization is a blessing to me,” Ochoa said. “I am very passionate about my volunteer work. The joy we give to these kids and their families is priceless. Not only do I get to help others, but I also get to have something positive in my life. Everyone should be so lucky!”

Make-A-Wish can be supported at Our Promise: California State Employees Giving Back at Work. Visit Cal Employee Connect to access the ePledge portal and make a voluntary donation via one-time or ongoing payroll deduction. Please note: The ePledge portal cannot be accessed using Internet Explorer. The CDCR/CCHCS Our Promise campaign runs September 15 through October 15. Learn more at

Make-A-Wish San Diego
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