Today we’d like to introduce you to Krystyna Bowman.
Willow Wish was born from a singular event that created a profound ripple. Once upon a time, there was a vibrant little girl named Clara. She loved life, had a true circle of friends, and she loved to play, sing, dance and create. Her favorite color was purple and her childhood dream was to own her bakery.
Then one, bright sunny morning in May, a tragic accident took her life and her bright light was suddenly and heartbreakingly extinguished. What a celebration of life was had in her honor, attended by her loving parents and family, her community of friends and neighbors, and all the people who came out to support her loved ones at the standing-room-only gathering that was held on an equally beautiful and sunny day.
Her mom has two best friends that took her on a road trip to help her cope with her grief. While they were on this road trip, they committed to each other that they were no longer going to wait for the right time to make their dream of opening a birth center come true. They were unhappy in their job’s and they could see that waiting for the right time was an illusion.
Clara’s passing inspired them and lent them the courage to leave their current jobs as hospital-based certified nurse-midwives and take the steps to open their free standing birth center. As they researched to make their dream come true, they discovered that the reality of insurance coverage in the United States was going to unfairly prejudice the kind of clients that would have access to their evidence-based best practices and mother-centered maternity care.
They decided that they needed to start some kind of scholarship fund. They wanted to create a way for people who couldn’t afford the out-of-pocket expense of a free-standing birth center to access patient-centered and evidence-based care. Willow Wish is the answer to bridge the gap between a patient’s desire and their ability to pay for that experience.
That’s where Krystyna Bowman came in to the picture. She was the person that the midwives asked to start a 501(c)3 non-profit to allow any woman in Arizona to apply for a gift to the birth center of her choice. Belinda and Diane believe that honoring choice meant that the women chose the birth center where they would receive care, even if it wasn’t theirs.
And so, with Clara’s legacy at the front of her mind, Krystyna accepted the call to do more, be more, and give more to make a meaningful difference for others.
As Willow Wish formed as a non-profit and the board started doing their own research, they discovered that this program is uniquely Arizonan. There is nothing of its kind anywhere in the United States. Since the Willow Wish Gift Program is a pioneer in the space of granting birth choice, the board decided to start on a small scale and write gifts for the five accredited free-standing birth centers and expand our scope as the program grew and learned from growing pains.
At the inception, Krystyna was also the sole fundraiser for the organization. Chelsea Lindblad is a local business owner and consumer of birth center care. Chelsea wrote the first unsolicited donation in the early days of Willow Wish. The fact that she wrote and sent in a check to help fund a gift for a deserving family made Krystyna realize this vision was not just a nice dream that was going to take off “a few years from now”. The day she opened the mail and saw the letter explaining the unsolicited check was the day that she understood that the Willow Wish Gift Program had traction and that other people were as committed to making this vision a reality as she and the midwives were. Since then, Chelsea has offered her time to serve as the donations outreach point person for the fundraising committee. Chelsea and Krystyna have been joined by several other talented and vision-driven women and men to turn the dream of funding out-of-hospital births into a reality for more Arizona families.
In 2018, Willow Wish wrote three gifts to deserving families in Arizona. In 2019, the efforts of the fundraising committee have successfully funded a total of 11 monthly gifts. The applications continue to come in and we are striving to continue this pace for 2020 and beyond.
- Sponsorships range from $100 – $10,000 someone from our Sponsor Program is happy to arrange a meeting to find the right sponsor level for your family or business.
- Address: 2045 S Vineyard, Suite 136, Mesa, AZ 85210
- Website: willowwish.org
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: @willowwishaz
- Facebook: facebook.com/WillowWIshAZ
- Twitter: @willowwishaz
- Other: eventbrite.willowwish.com
Angel Martinez, Social Connections AZ
Alyssa Leon, Cherry Blossom Doula Services