Long time readers of The Disney Blog may remember that I worked at Give Kids The World from 2005 to 2009. As you might expect, it was rewarding work making once in a lifetime dreams come true for children. Unfortunately, life-threatening illnesses don’t go away when the economy tanks and the need for GKTW Village remains.
Last week, I was invited back to tour the village as part of Blogger Bash 2013. A group of about 50 bloggers, some coming in from other states, were able to see many of the resort’s features and experience a little of what the GKTW’s many thousands of volunteers provide on a daily basis.
The families that visit Give Kids The World are given the chance to escape from the troubles & treatments that surround them as they face the challenge of overcoming a life threatening illness in one of their children. A stay at GKTW Village is free for the family and includes tickets to Central Florida’s best attractions, meals at the Village, and so much more.
Over 7,000 families visit each year and they’re approaching 125,000 total families. GKTW never turns away a family due to lack of space, if the village is full, accommodations will be made at one of the local resorts, usually right on Disney property. Best of all they keep administrative costs very low. Almost 92 cents of every dollar donated goes right to programs that benefit the kids. That has allowed GKTW to be ranked amongst the top charities nationwide for most of the last 15 years.
When I worked at GKTW, I tried to make time at least once a week to read some of the letters the families wrote. Some were sent in after arriving back home and others were left in a guest book in the Village’s chapel. These families truly appreciate what GKTW Village does for them. No matter their circumstance, the week of happiness does inspire hope and hope can do wondrous things.
You can help bring hope to families with young children battling life threatening diseases by visiting GiveKidsTheWorld.org.