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Dreams really do come true at this amusement park for the bravest kids and their families

Dreams really do come true at this amusement park for the bravest kids and their families
Source: Instagram/aplusapp

Give Kids The World Village is an 89-acre, nonprofit “storybook” resort in Central Florida, where children with critical illnesses and their families are treated to week-long, cost-free vacations.

Give kids the world village is a magical land where where happiness inspired hope

Give Kids The World Village is an 89-acre, whimsical nonprofit resort in Central Florida that provides critically ill children and their families with magical weeklong wish vacations at no cost. A stay at the Village is much more than a vacation; it’s an opportunity for these families to laugh together, play together, and create priceless memories away from hospital stays and medical treatments.

Give Kids The World Village plays host to the families of children with life-threatening illnesses from around the world.
A dream getaway for the bravest kids and their families. Give Kids The World Village plays host to the families of children with life-threatening illnesses from around the world. Source: GKTW.org

A stay at the Village is much more than a vacation

The story of Give Kids The World began with a little girl named Amy, a wish, and the desire of one man to make that wish come true.

Amy had leukemia and a wish to visit Orlando’s theme parks. To facilitate this wish, a respected hotelier was asked to provide a complimentary stay for Amy and her family. Although the hotelier gladly obliged, the remainder of Amy’s travel plans took too long to arrange, and her wish was never granted. Time simply ran out, and Amy had passed away.

This unfulfilled wish inspired the hotelier to make a vow that no child in need would ever be failed again. That man was Henri Landwirth, and his desire to ensure that Amy’s story would never repeat itself is a mission Give Kids The World has fulfilled since 1986.

Rated Four Stars by Charity Navigator, Give Kids The World Village is an 89-acre, whimsical nonprofit resort in Kissimmee, Florida, that provides week-long, cost-free wish vacations to critically ill children and their families from around the world who want to visit Central Florida.

A stay at the Village is much more than a vacation. During one transformative week, wish families laugh, play, and create priceless memories together away from hospital visits and medical procedures. It’s a magical week of "YES" where wish kids can experience the simple joys of childhood, and where families can recapture some of the precious moments that may have been missed due to illness.

Since 1986, Give Kids The World Village has welcomed more than 177,000 families from all 50 states and 76 countries. The Village is made possible by the support of generous donors and community partners, as well as thousands of passionate volunteers – who donate their time and talent making wishes come true. Learn more about volunteer opportunities here.

Scroll down for gallery and some breathtaking drone footage of ‘The Night of a Million Lights’

Source: GKTW

He called the project Give Kids The World, because that is just what he intended to do - provide magical experiences with a vacation that means the world to children with critical illnesses and their families.
Founder Henry Landwirth enlisted the support of colleagues in the hospitality and tourism industries to assist him in bringing these special families to Central Florida within 24 hours if need be. He called the project Give Kids The World, because that is just what he intended to do – provide magical experiences with a vacation that means the world to children with critical illnesses and their families. Source: GKTW.org
In partnership with dozens of wish-granting organisations across the United States, GKTW doesn’t just give children the ultimate trip to the area’s theme parks—it invites them to stay at a place where everyone knows firsthand what they are going through.
Sprawling across 89 acres in Central Florida, @gktwvillage offers fairytale vacations to critically ill children, at no cost to their families. In partnership with dozens of wish-granting organisations across the United States, GKTW doesn’t just give children the ultimate trip to the area’s theme parks—it invites them to stay at a place where everyone knows firsthand what they are going through. Source: Instagram/aplusapp
In 1989, the gates of Give Kids The World Village opened and what once was a dream was now a 31-acre reality. Source: Facebook/GiveKidsTheWorld
Since 1986, the village has welcomed more than 177,000 children from all 50 states and 70 countries. Thanks to volunteers, donations, and community partners, families are treated to an all-expenses paid getaway where the answer is almost always “yes.”
A stay at the village offers families a chance to laugh together, play together, and create priceless memories away from hospital stays and medical treatments. Since 1986, the village has welcomed more than 177,000 children from all 50 states and 70 countries. Thanks to volunteers, donations, and community partners, families are treated to an all-expenses paid getaway where the answer is almost always “yes.” Source: Instagram/aplusapp
As the program expanded and the number of families continued to grow, it was apparent that Give Kids The World would need to create a place that could better serve the needs of our families. Source: Instagram/aplusapp
“We desperately needed time together to renew our spirits & process our cancer journey,” says mom, Laura. “Seeing the true joy on McCoy’s face throughout our stay was priceless; we were able to live in the moment, connect with other wish families & share hope. We can’t wait to volunteer!”
After 2.5 years of treatment for high risk acute lymphoblastic leukemia, McCoy Rapa & her family visited GKTW with support from Dream Come True of the Lehigh Valley. “We desperately needed time together to renew our spirits & process our cancer journey,” says mom, Laura. “Seeing the true joy on McCoy’s face throughout our stay was priceless; we were able to live in the moment, connect with other wish families & share hope. We can’t wait to volunteer!” Source: GKTW.org
“Lily and her sister spent the week laughing, playing, & just getting to be kids. We made memories we will cherish & hold close to our hearts.”
“Our trip to GKTW was absolutely amazing; it was everything we dreamt of, and more,” says Yasmina Halim, whose 9-year-old daughter, Lily, has juvenile Tay-Sachs, a terminal disease with no cure. “Lily and her sister spent the week laughing, playing, & just getting to be kids. We made memories we will cherish & hold close to our hearts.” Source: GKTW.org
Living in the moment.
Memories are made of this. Living in the moment. Source: GKTW.org
Thank you to members of the Youth Group of St. John's Episcopal Church for volunteering their time at Give Kids The World Village!
The village is staffed by another group of very special people: volunteers. Thank you to members of the Youth Group of St. John’s Episcopal Church for volunteering their time at Give Kids The World Village! Source: GKTW.org
they don’t see them for their differences,”  says wish mom Sara, whose daughter, Sophia, was diagnosed with Cornelia de Lange Syndrome. “After all the surgeries, tests, hospital stays, and the stress that comes with having a medically complex child, our family needed this time away more than I can put into words. We recently had the chance to visit as an alumni family, and being back at the Village with a healthier Sophia was humbling. Being able to make memories then, and now, is amazing! To everyone at GKTW, I hope you know what a difference you are making in the lives of so many families!”
“Our wish trip to GKTW was magical; from the moment we arrived, we were transported to an entirely different world that is worry-free, inclusive and supportive…surrounded by others who see your child as simply that, a child – they don’t see them for their differences,” says wish mom Sara, whose daughter, Sophia, was diagnosed with Cornelia de Lange Syndrome. “After all the surgeries, tests, hospital stays, and the stress that comes with having a medically complex child, our family needed this time away more than I can put into words. We recently had the chance to visit as an alumni family, and being back at the Village with a healthier Sophia was humbling. Being able to make memories then, and now, is amazing! To everyone at GKTW, I hope you know what a difference you are making in the lives of so many families!” Source: GKTW.org
Today the Village is an 89-acre resort with 166 villa accommodations, unique entertainment attractions, whimsical venues, and fun activities for children of all abilities. Source: Facebook/GiveKidsTheWorld
With the help of many generous individuals, corporations and partnering wish-granting organisations, Give Kids The World Village has welcomed more than 177,000 families from all 50 states and 76 countries. Source: Facebook/GiveKidsTheWorld
For a glimpse into the magic to be found at Give Kids The World Village, check out the Night of a Million Lights! Watch an exclusive behind-the-scenes video of Night of a Million Lights featuring stunning drone footage produced by Justin Landers & Just Shoot Light Multimedia Productions. View more spectacular video at www.youtube.com/JustShootLight. Thank you for your generosity, Justin! Source: Facebook/gktwvillage
Make an Impact

DONATE TO GIVE KIDS THE WORKD VILLAGE AND HELP FAMILIES MAKE MEMORIES THAT LAST A LIFETIME

When a child visits Give Kids The World Village, memories of needles, hospitals, and pain are replaced with laughter, joy, and ice cream. Make a tax-deductible donation today to create joyful moments for critically ill children and their families. Click for details.