Denise's Corner

Volunteering at Give Kids the World – Giving Time for the Smile of a Child

Hi everyone!

Last week, we were part of the Attractions Magazine Blogger Bowl for Give Kids the World, an organization I am proud to volunteer for. Give Kids the World offers a respite to children with life-threatening illnesses, as well as for their families. The Blogger Bowl raised $20,000 for the organization!

Mousesteps Bowling Team with Mayor Clayton for Give Kids the World

That evening, we spent a few hours touring Give Kids the World Village with other bloggers. While I’ve been there often, Jeff hadn’t yet seen it. It was nice sharing with him where I go to volunteer. He was very impressed and understands why it is so important to me.

Give Kids the World Village

Being hosted for an event was very different than the volunteer experience. I felt like I should be pitching in during the weekly Christmas celebration, as opposed to being on the sidelines taking photos!

Mayor Clayton

Give Kids the World is a 70-acre nonprofit “storybook” resort which is located within a half hour from most of the major resorts and attractions. Many children don’t even want to leave the village during their stay – there is so much to do! Miniature golf; the La-Ti-Da Spa; an iconic carousel and more await families who visit here.

Miss Merry

Over 122,000 children have had their wishes fulfilled at Give Kids the World, and no child has ever been turned away. Give Kids the World was the brainchild of Henri Landwirth, a survivor of the Nazi concentration and labor camps during WWII. He came to America with very little money to his name, and little grasp of the English language. He built a hotel industry career here, which led to the creation of Give Kids the World when one little girl’s travel arrangements couldn’t be made in time. You can read more about his inspirational story here.

Twinkle Hope’s La-Ti-Da Royal Spa

Volunteering at Give Kids the World is a fulfilling experience that I recommend to anyone. I especially enjoy talking with families, and seeing the joy that radiates from the children who visit. Is every volunteer experience an easy one? No. But much of the time, the shifts have been a lot of fun – and definitely inspiring. I’ve been asked by those considering volunteering at Give Kids the World whether it’s a sad experience – and it is absolutely anything but that. The families are there to have a good time together. This may be their only chance to have quality family time without worrying about doctor visits, cooking, cleaning and such.

The Castle of Miracles, Dressed for the Weekly Christmas Celebration

My first volunteer shift was in 2004. I’d heard about Give Kids the World for years, and finally took the plunge. The volunteer shifts I took on most aren’t even available anymore – the programs at Give Kids the World Village have evolved quite a bit over the years. There are 1200 volunteer shifts available every week at Give Kids the Word, including helping with Village Idol; with character photographs (including Disney characters); and volunteering in Twinkle Hope’s La-Ti-Da Royal Spa. There is truly something for everyone who wants to volunteer! And volunteering doesn’t just benefit the families, it just feels good to help others as a volunteer at Give Kids the World.

Each Wish Child Leaves Their Name Behind on a Star in the Castle of Miracles – There are over 100,000 Stars Here!

Click here for information on volunteering for Give Kids the World! And I will be running in the 2014 Walt Disney World Half-Marathon, raising money for the Village. Click here to donate! Every dollar is appreciated.

Villas Are Being Being Beautifully Refurbished

There are 140 Villas at Give Kids the World – This is One of the Newest Ones

Over 2000 Dolls Reside in the Gingerbread House – Most Donated by Families Who Have Stayed at Give Kids the World Village.

We Took a Ride on the Enchanted Carousel with SeaWorldMommy and Jen Vargas from Central Florida Top 5