GIVE KIDS THE WORLD

Give Kids The World

 

Give Kids The World Village is a nonprofit resort in Kissimmee, Florida for children with life-threatening illnesses and their families. Children between the ages of 3 and 18 who have been diagnosed with a life-threatening illness by a licensed doctor are eligible for a GKTW Wish. One of over 250 wish-granting organizations worldwide coordinates transportation to Central Florida, while Give Kids The World provides accommodations at its resort, meals for a week-long vacation, and donated admission tickets to local attractions including Walt Disney World Resort, SeaWorld, and Universal Orlando Resort.

 

Founded by Henri Landwirth a Belgian Holocaust survivor who spent 5 years in Auschwitz and Matthausen concentration camps. Landwirth and his sister immigrated and studied hotel management where he became passionate about helping sick children fulfill their dream of a family vacation. The resort's focus is providing accommodations and access to donated theme park tickets. Access provided through partner "wish granting" organizations such as the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

 

The organization's executive advisory board includes author Ken Blanchard, astronaut Scott Carpenter, former senator John Glenn, anthropologist Jane Goodall, actor John Stamos, and Walt Disney Parks and Resorts president Al Weiss along with representatives from Universal Orlando and Seaworld.[2] The village is operated by a small professinoal staff augemented by thousands of volunteers each year. Weekly 1200 volunteer shifts are completed each week.

 

The Village has a whimsical theme. It features 141 family villa accommodations, the Gingerbread House Restaurant, the Castle of Miracles and it's Enchanted Carousel, the Ice Cream Palace, Julie's Safari Theatre, Matthew's Boundless Playground, and other attractions and facilities for its guests. Every year, the Village welcomes more than 6,500 families; in 2008, it welcomed its 92,000th family. To date, families have come to Give Kids The World from all 50 states and over 70 countries.

 

The organization partners with corporations for volunteers, donations and in the case of Boston Market and Perkins Restaurant and Bakery, restaurants supplied with both food and volunteers inside the resort. Families are also provided with a complimentary rental car courtesy of Avis Rent a Car during their stay which they pickup at the VIP counter at the Orlando airport

  

www.gktw.org

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