Amy Poehler is probably always willing to meet a Parks and Recreation viewer, but it seems the Saturday Night Live alum and her cast mates had a whole special day with a certain superfan. Joshua Ritter flew in with his family from Illinois as part of a once-in-a-lifetime experience created by the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
Ritter took to Reddit to discuss his set visit and answered a question about Poehler and her generosity.
“Amy Poehler was litt-rally [sic] one of the kindest and most loving people I’ve ever met. She just kept coming back for another conversation, hug, or picture… I had no idea that an A-list celebrity like herself could be so sweet and kind. It blew us away.”
Ritter had similar praise for everyone he met during his day on the Parks and Recreation set, where he not only spent time with the cast, but the writers, directors, and crew. He also got to participate in a studio tour.
“It was honestly the best experience of my life, and they cast/crew was more open and friendly than I could have ever dreamed,” Ritter said.
This is the mission statement of the Make-A-Wish Foundation, taken from the organization’s official website.
“We grant the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions to enrich the human experience with hope, strength and joy.”
It also makes the wonderful point that “[w]ishes are more than just a nice thing… Whatever the odds, whatever the obstacles… wishes find a way to make the world better.”
Ritter is living with Von-Hippel Lindau syndrome, a rare genetic condition. It causes his body to be predisposed to tumors. Ritter is currently a college freshman and, as The Hollywood Reporter notes, has already raised $115,000 for the St. Louis Children’s Hospital. Through his story, he wants to inspire others to support Make-A-Wish.
Ritter also told THR about Poehler’s kindness on set.
“You can tell the difference when someone is being nice just to be nice and when someone is genuinely nice and caring. It was really a huge surprise just how much she cared.”
It wasn’t just Poehler who impressed Ritter. Aziz Ansari came by to chat on his day off. Nick Offerman, according to Ritter, was exactly like his character Ron Swanson off-camera. Star Adam Scott, director Dean Holland, and writer Matt Murray also chatted with the university student.
[Image: Parks and Recreation/NBC]