Backyard Wishes

Doing Good in our own Backyard


Backyard Wishes is a 501(c)3 registered non-profit, founded in 2010 by Laura Cowley. The organization is dedicated to ensuring children in the Waconia community feel a strong sense of belonging.

Children who feel they are a part of their school community are better able to focus on building healthy relationships and having a happy experience. That ‘sense of belonging’ is so important to the success of all children.

Our focus is providing opportunities for students to participate in activities that allow them to belong to their school community or school team.  We also entertain special requests that align with our vision/mission of inclusion and sense of belonging for all.


" In order for children to feel confident, happy, comfortable, and at ease with themselves and others, they need to first feel like their community and environment is a place where they are invited, accepted, loved, and ‘a part of the group, not a part from the group’.”

— Khuzana DeVaan, Backyard Wishes President


How it Works


Backyard Wishes works closely with Waconia School district staff, who help to identify families and children in need. From there, a Backyard Wishes board member gets in touch with the family to acquire additional information. Our board reviews requests and assists in a variety of ways. All donations go directly to serving and supporting the families and children in Waconia schools. Any additional costs incurred in fundraising is paid directly by our board members, who are passionate about giving back.