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Give Kids the World

Holly Cosgray, Staff Writer

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This past June a group from the Delphi United Methodist Church went on a mission trip to Give Kids the World in Kissimmee, Florida. Give Kids the World is a non-profit organization serving terminally ill children between the ages 3-18 and their families all around the world. The organization and its 84 acre village was established in 1986 by Henri Landwirth, a holocaust survivor. Mr. Landwirth started the village because of a little girl named Amy who had leukemia. Amy wished to go to the Orlando theme parks. Henri Landwirth, who was a hotelier, agreed to give Amy and her family a complimentary stay, but the remainder of her travel plans took too long to arrange and her wish was never granted. Amy passed away. This inspired Mr. Landwirth to make a vow that no child in need would ever be failed again. His desire was to ensure that Amy’s story would never repeat itself.

Since 1986, Give Kids the World has served over 154,000 families and continues to do so. With a child’s visit, they get free accommodations to the villas, tickets to different theme parks, meals, and entertainment throughout the day at the village. Volunteers help work with the children at the different buildings throughout the village. The building include The Castle, is where children make a wish and then Stellar the fairy puts it up in the castle where it stays forever. La-Ti-Da Spa is a place where children can go get their faces painted, airbrush tattoos, hair dyed and a manicure. Towne Hall is where the children and their families eat all of their meals and where they have different parties throughout the week. . When working at these places, volunteers get to interact with the children and develop bonds that will be cherished forever.

The week that the teens from Delphi United Methodist spent there was very emotional, yet humbling the families there radiate with optimism, it brings a smile to your face, making you want to stay there forever. If you have never thought about volunteer work, I encourage you to definitely consider doing so at Give Kids the World. Dacota Shockley stated, “It is was one of the best weeks in my entire life because I was able to center myself around kids.” I was fortunate enough to be one of the volunteers this summer. That one week changed my mindset on life entirely as I watched these children embrace life even though they don’t know when their last day might come. I challenge you to try not to rush your week at school. Try not to count down the days to Friday. Instead, cherish each and every day that you have. Think about those children that might not get those days in between and live life in the moment.

The link for Give Kids the World is : http://www.gktw.org/

11 Comments

11 Responses to “Give Kids the World”

  1. Dean Iunghuhn on September 1st, 2017 12:40 pm

    I really like this. I think this is what the band will do in 2019. This is really cool

    [Reply]

  2. Kassidy on September 1st, 2017 12:41 pm

    This article has now caused me to start doing more throughout my community and try from this day forward to cherish everyday I get.

    [Reply]

  3. Madi Keen on September 1st, 2017 12:42 pm

    I think what they are doing is absolutely fantastic! They should reach out and make this place more known around the world so more kids can make their wishes come true. Also, amazing work on the article! :)

    [Reply]

  4. Trea on September 1st, 2017 12:45 pm

    This is a very interesting passage. I do wish that some day I could go and help out the the program.

    [Reply]

  5. Tammy Lewellen on September 1st, 2017 12:45 pm

    Thank you for sharing this opportunity with me and my class. This type of selflessness is so important for all of us to experience. I plan to research “Give Kids the World” so that I can hopefully volunteer in the future.

    [Reply]

  6. Elyse on September 1st, 2017 12:45 pm

    I have never really thought about how fortunate we are to be healthy and be able to live without worrying about when we won’t be here anymore. I think we are going to be playing at this place on the band trip in a year or two.

    [Reply]

  7. Rhonda Milburn on September 1st, 2017 12:49 pm

    Reading this really made me think about others. Being able to help children, that might not get to live much longer, for fill their dream. Every child should deserve at least one thing special and it is amazing that these teens went down there and helped them. I should stop trying to get through the week when some children might not even make it to the end of the week. I now realize that I should be less selfish of my days and I should try to give to the children and families in need. This is a very good article and very inspiring.

    [Reply]

  8. Sam Bieghler on September 1st, 2017 12:50 pm

    The article is very inspiring. I like to imagine all of the joys that the families feel when they spend the week there.

    [Reply]

  9. Keegan Knoth on September 1st, 2017 12:51 pm

    This was a great story!

    [Reply]

  10. Sarah Howard on September 1st, 2017 12:51 pm

    That trip sounded like it was a great experience. I wish I could have gone.

    [Reply]

  11. Connor Roberson on September 1st, 2017 12:52 pm

    Great article!

    [Reply]

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