I have to say personally, that of all the charities, Give Kids The World is probably the one that has the most special place in my heart and memory. They aren’t the largest, the flashiest, and most of you have probably never even heard about them. Their goal isn’t to cure childhood cancer, nor do they specifically operate just for cancer kids. However, for any family with a child who has a life-threatening illness, Give Kids The World can be the most incredible place on Earth.
The Village is located on 79 acres in Florida and has 144 villas, close to Disney World. They provide cost-free living for families of children with life-threatening illnesses. Since 1986, close to 150,000 families have been accommodated. Our family was one of those who were able to stay at this wonderful place during Emily’s Make-A-Wish trip to Disney World.
From the Give Kids The World site:
The story of Give Kids The World begins with a little girl named Amy, a wish, and the desire of one man to make that wish come true.
Amy had leukemia and a wish to visit Orlando’s theme parks. To facilitate this wish, a respected hotelier was asked to provide a complimentary stay for Amy and her family. Although the hotelier gladly obliged, the remainder of Amy’s travel plans took too long to arrange, and her wish was never granted. Time simply ran out, and Amy had passed away.
This unfulfilled wish inspired the hotelier to make a vow that no child in need would ever be failed again. That man was Henri Landwirth, and his desire to ensure that Amy’s story would never repeat itself is a mission Give Kids The World has fulfilled since 1986.
Words really can’t explain with any justice how amazing Give Kids The World or their volunteers are. Families are treated to completely cost free living for a week, 24 hour ice cream, and volunteers who take away every little annoyance that usually accompanies a vacation. They allow you to truly focus on your child and family, and to be surrounded by families who understand exactly what you’re going through. There are no odd glances, no whispers or finger pointing, just families who are all trying to forget the future and live in the present for just a while.
I highly encourage everyone to go to their site to read about their organization. If you live in FL or are visiting for any length of time, consider becoming a volunteer for even a day, it will be an experience you’ll never forget.