Making dreams come true: Kristiina Gabor-Mägi and My Dream Day
“Working in a charity has made me realize that you should live in the moment and value what you have here and now. Value people around us. Find time for them,”reflects Kristiina Gabor-Mägi, the head of the foundation My Dream Day (Minu Unistuste Päev).
There are several non-governmental organizations in Estonia whose aim is to add value to the society, to give a helping hand to where the state does not reach. We all have a chance to contribute and join in in their activities – the easiest way is to donate money while donating one’s time is even more exciting.
Time is our greatest asset and we in Wuruhi are very glad that several Estonian businesses have started to support organizations through their time and also promote it amongst their employees. We in Wuruhi believe in making a difference by paying it forward and think that when we as citizens join our forces, a lot more good can be done. This is why we loved the idea of the charity organization My Dream Day whose mission and culture we gladly share with you.
Who is Kristiina?
Kristiina has many roles – first and foremost, she is a mother for her two sweet sons, a companion and a friend for her husband. From last year on, her new role is to lead the foundation My Dream Day. Kristiina loves to communicate with people, to involve, to inspire and to motivate them. In her own words, she says that she has found a new challenge that has given her life a new breathing and an opportunity for self-fulfillment.
Leading and motivating volunteers is definitely not an easy task – a lot depends on the organizational culture, team spirit and common goals. A leader has to be a role model through living by his or her own principles and values; this is the only way to move mountains and make impossible possible.
“There are no impossible dreams, just our limited perception of what is possible.” -Beth Mende Conny
Besides her passion for work and family, she loves to travel – more so if it involves a backpack, nature and new experiences that open up her mind. Kristiina finds that the narrower and more curved the road, the more exciting and memorable the travel – perhaps indicating why she so much enjoys working with My Dream Day, a charity that offers both challenges and opportunities to discover what exactly lies beyond the next curve of the road.
What does the organization My Dream Day do?
My Dream Day is a charity foundation created in 2011 that fulfills dreams of severely or chronically ill children. Our goal is to offer emotional support, joy, positive experiences, laughter and encouragement especially to children and their families who need it the most.
The main activity of My Dream Day is to organize individual dream days. Doctors nominate children who then get a chance to experience everything they have secretly dreamed of or what gives them most joy. Dreams carry us further and express who we really are. Dreams make miracles happen! I believe that positive emotions also contribute to the healing process and help to overcome difficult times.
To value quality time with family and the joy of being and doing things together, we additionally organize educating and inspiring group events and spirited family days for hospitalized children.
What were the biggest accomplishments in 2016?
2016 was a successful and unbelievable year for My Dream Day. Public interest in our organization has grown in terms of both volunteers and supporters. Last year we carried out 130 dream activities in which our volunteers partook. 62 of these were individual dream days which is 24 days more than in 2015. We had several exciting collaboration projects with the private banking department of Swedbank and JCI while we also kick started collaborations with several patients’ associations and unions.
Who are My Dream Day’s supporters?
My Dream Day’s supporters are private individuals and businesses who believe in the necessity and the mission of the foundation. Our organization needs different support systems – both financial and pro bono services and products from partners – these help us organize events and ensure the sustainable development of the organization.
I am very glad that more and more people in Estonia have a high regard for soft values. You do not necessarily have to be rich and successful to help – all you need is empathy and a wish to help. Every donation and good deed counts!
Who is behind My Dream Day?
Our organization was founded by Marianne Bruhn, a Dane, and Helena Almqvist, a Swede. Neither of them were loaded with money but they did have a will to make a positive change in the Estonian society. The initiative that started within family and friends has grown into an organization with almost 80 volunteers all over Estonia who next to their jobs, family and school contribute daily with time, knowledge and skills to organize dream events for seriously or chronically ill children.
These are people who are passionate and put their whole heart to it. They are motivated by challenges and successful events, the sincere laughter of a child, bright eyes and the parents’ tears of happiness… There is no greater joy than the joy of giving. By seeing these families and their worries we often realize how little one really needs for happiness.
What do children dream about?
Every dream is special! A dream can be small or large but to make it come true, it is an exciting challenge and a great responsibility for a volunteer. Children often dream of simple things – swimming, going to the cinema or petting animals. These might seem to be regular dreams but they remain unattainable for many families for different reasons. Many also dream about experiences in air, on race track or about meeting their idol. Some small girls dream of becoming a princess, some small boys a tram conductor!
One of the most memorable ones has perhaps been the wish of a 9-year-old girl who wished to meet the then President of Estonia Toomas Hendrik Ilves that created indescribable and warm emotions also in him. Over the years we have made the dreams of over 140 children come true and each of these children have made their unique way into the hearts of the volunteers.
Kristiina’ s outfit
Kristiina’s outfit was inspired by the character of My Dream Day. We had an honor to dress her into the feminine and classical design of Lilli Jahilo that also brings out Kristiina’s own style and personality. Our stylist Alli-Liis picked out unique jewellery from the brand Lummus that is inspired by Estonian nature – here you see Kristiina wearing our choice from collections Suvemaja and Võsailu. PR Fashion Room first fell in love with their design when Pille, the creative director of our lifestyle blog, was invited to be a model at the presentation of their last collection AoValgus.
|PERSON||CREATIVE DIRECTOR||PHOTOGRAPHER||FASHION STYLIST||MAKEUP ARTIST||HAIR STYLIST|
|Kristiina Gabor-Mägi||Pille Aasa||Arttu Karvonen||Alli-Liis Vandel||Reelika Selirand||Erica Teras from Decoris Showroom|
|Anna Vandel||Carina Paju||Telliskivi||Lilli Jahilo|
See more on how to support My Dream Foundation here.