A Magical Florida Destination – Give Kids The World Village

3rd April 2018

Peter Pan once said, “Think of the happiest things… it’s the same as having wings.”

There is a place filled with those happy things. Not Walt Disney World, but it’s close. Give Kids The World is the whimsical, non-profit resort in Kissimmee, Florida, where children with life-threatening illnesses stay with their families when they have a wish to visit Walt Disney World, Universal Studios, SeaWorld, meet an astronaut or anything possibly related to Florida.

Founded in 1986 by World War II Holocaust survivor Henri Landwirth, Give Kids The World grants families a one-week respite for a restorative vacation. This family vacation includes accommodations at the Village, theme park tickets (to Walt Disney World, Universal Orlando Resort, and SeaWorld Orlando), and all of their meals at no cost to the family.

How Does This Apply to You?

Give Kids The World depends on the volunteer spirit of individuals, families and groups to operate 365 days a year. You can spend just a small part of your holiday (3-4 hours one morning or evening) creating magic for families at Give Kids The World, and it may just become the most magical part of your Florida vacation. I have personally volunteered at Give Kids The World multiple times with my family, as well as taken groups of college students there over spring break. After a recent college alternative break trip to Give Kids The World, one of the students described the experience as “life-changing.”

What Do You Do?

Give Kids The World is run almost entirely by volunteers inspiring hope, creating memories, and celebrating life for families with kids facing life-threatening illnesses. Some of the numerous volunteer opportunities include:

Whenever I visit the Orlando-area for a family trip, I try to set aside time to volunteer with my family at Give Kids The World. After spending time indulging our “Disney Side,” it feels good to give back and help other families experience the magic. The last time I volunteered with my family, we helped with the “Big Splash Bash” pool party. My daughter was a little nervous to volunteer due to her teenage social anxiety, but jumped in with the new experience. She drew chalk decorations on the pool deck, and played pool games with the wish families. She particularly liked the game where she threw Mr. Potato Head pieces into the pool, let kids retrieve them, and the first to rebuild their Potato Head won. It was a wonderful experience to give back to others after we spent the entire previous day focused on ourselves.

Over its 30+ year history, Give Kids The World has welcomed over 160,000 wish families from all 50 U.S. states and nearly 80 countries around the world. Charity Navigator has ranked Give Kids The World as one of the top 20 charities nationwide and awarded it a four-star rating every year since 2005. Of every dollar donated to Give Kids The World, $0.93 goes directly towards programs benefiting the children and families.

If you’re considering a family vacation to the theme park capital of the world, you’ll find there really is no better place to volunteer than Give Kids The World.

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