Give Kids the World Village offers an immersive week long all-expenses-paid family vacation for families with a child who has a critical illness. If I had a wish, I would wish away any illness and discomfort these children and their families experience. The next best thing is the memory of a lifetime provided by Give Kids the World.
As a foster parent, I lived the medical mom life. I spent a lot of time in children’s hospitals and doctors’ offices. It can be extremely difficult and exhausting. It can be a little lonely too, even with good support. One thing I found effective for myself was to plan fun things to do as a family and take a lot of photos. I displayed these photos on our TV through a screen saver as a reminder that our entire life wasn’t just medical appointments. And another helpful thing for me was to find other families in similar positions who could relate to us. So I really see the value in an experience like this where they find support and receive amazing memories. For some families, this could possibly their last family vacation together. Can you imagine the value in the memories and photos? Priceless.
Knowing that Give Kids the World Village offers this priceless gift to families, I wanted to know more. So recently I took a tour of their village in Kissimmee so that I could bring you some more information about all of the magic they provide. Thank you to Jessica for showing me around the 84 acre property and telling me all about the amazing things they do for children and their families.
Join me in this short photo tour of their property and learn a little more about the joy and magic provided by Give Kids the World Village.
The behind the scenes work begins months before a child ever arrives in Florida. Any critically child who makes a wish for a trip to Disney or Orlando theme parks through any wish granting organization like Make-a-Wish is directed to Give Kids the World.
Founded in 1986, Give Kids the World aims to quickly and efficiently bring critically children’s wishes and dreams to life. The usual process takes just a few months to coordinate but can be coordinated in as little as one day if needed. Every family receives donated theme park tickets to Walt Disney World, Universal Studios and Sea World and more, a stay in an accessible villa, all transportation, meals and a lot of magic!
Each family is welcomed directly in their villa so they can learn about all of their amazing offerings. Each villa includes a kitchen, washer and dryer and several bedrooms which can accommodate even larger families.
Then families can choose whether to explore the theme parks or explore the property. There are volunteers who can help coordinate the plans as much or as little as a family desires.
While in Kids in the World Village families feel welcomed immediately. Flags from each of the countries families are visiting from hang to say, “hello and welcome!”
The movie theater on the property plays movies that are currently in the theaters and includes delicious snacks!
Families can play miniature golf in Marc’s Dino Putt which has a unique story. Marc’s wishes were to be a dinosaur, get a million dollars and live forever. When Marc met a Dinosaur at Universal, everyone fell in love with him. Later when he passed away, Universal spent a million dollars building Marc’s Dino Putt making all of his wishes come true! And bringing magic to all the families who visited Give Kids the World Village after him.
Families can also enjoy many other activities such as bowling, video games, skee-ball, arcade games and more throughout Amberville.
There are several amusement rides right on the property which families can ride as many times as they wish, with no wait! All are fully accessible so that even people in wheelchairs can ride.
A train will even take families around the property!
Mayor Clayton is a bunny, the Give Kids the World mascot. Mayor and Mrs. Clayton live in this little house and magically grow bigger to come out and meet the kids. They can play in their house and garden too!
Children and their families can get a makeover or a glitter tattoo in the Rocking Spa. Anything the child gets, any member of the family can get so siblings get the same magical experiences. If one child gets a toy, all children get toys! If one child gets a makeover, they can all get one!
All meals at Give Kids the World Village are provided. They also have ice cream available all the time. Children who are critically ill hear “no” a lot and their time at Give Kids the World Village is a time to relax, enjoy and hear “yes!” I know the importance of this too. When we had to say goodbye to the children we were foster parents for, I never regretted saying yes and one yes I often said was, “Yes, you can have ice cream for breakfast.” So I absolutely love and support Give Kids the World for saying yes to ice cream all day!
Year round, Give Kids the World celebrates holidays in a week rotation. So no matter when a family arrives, they’ll celebrate the whole year’s holidays. They will celebrate things like Halloween and Christmas. On the night we went, they were celebrating Halloween. They could make masks and trick-or-treat. On the Christmas celebration day, they have a Winter Wonderland including gifts and toys!
Each Wish Child receives a star. This is the only thing that only they receive. They can decorate it and put their name on it. Then they give it to a fairy who magically places it on the ceiling. Seeing all of the stars is truly humbling. Look at all of the magic spread over all of the years.
Even the new tower is already full of stars! They will be making more room for more stars, based on the support of donations like yours.
What do you think? With only an 8% administrative rate and mostly run by volunteers and ALL OF THE MAGIC provided to families, this is a charity that I can get behind supporting 100%. I hope you’ll join me in supporting them.
So how can you support Give Kids the World Village?
- You can follow The Art of Adventures Photography Facebook Page to see when my next Magical Fairy Sessions will be.
- You can join our Challenge for Hope Team as an in person or virtual participant here.
- Simply donate to our team! All of the money goes directly to Give Kids the World.
- Volunteer! You do not need to live in Central Florida to volunteer either. You can take some time out of your vacation and even volunteer with older children. Learn more on the Give Kids the World Village website.