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I’m Thomas Stark, Memory Market Coordinator at Give Kids The World!
Give Kids The World Village is an 84-acre, nonprofit resort in Central Florida that provides weeklong, cost-free vacations to children with life-threatening illnesses and their families.
I’m thrilled to be a part of an inaugural event benefiting Give Kids The World Village. When it’s done, I’ll have a fantastic story to tell — 32 stories, to be exact.
On February 9th, 2018, I will be rappelling down the side of the Hyatt Regency Hotel. I’ll descend 428 feet straight down to help make dreams come true for critically-ill children.
It seems crazy, (because I’m terrified of heights) but it’s nothing compared to what the kids at The Village face. Their lives are dominated by hospital stays and medical procedures. They miss out on school activities, sports, and time with friends.
The Village and its community partners provide children and their families accommodations in fully-furnished villas, transportation, tickets to theme parks, meals, daily entertainment and much more.
Half of all children eligible for a wish through one of our 245 partnering wish-granting organizations from around the world choose to visit Central Florida and its collection of theme parks and other attractions.
Our goal, quite simply, is to provide everything these deserving families need to make their trip the vacation of a lifetime. Since 1986, more than 157,000 children and their families have had their dreams fulfilled in this whimsical Village which is unlike any other place on earth.
Parents who would do anything to see their child smile are forced to say “no” because of the risks and limitations the disease imposes. Energy vanishes, hope fades, and free time slips away.
When a family arrives at Give Kids The World Village, they quickly realize that this is a special place. Requests are granted and limitations are accommodated: “Yes, you can have ice cream for breakfast. Yes, wheelchairs are allowed in that pool. Yes, you can ride the train, again.”
During the day, they visit the world-famous attractions and theme parks of Central Florida. In the evening, they return to a Village filled with themed parties, events and surprises.
Each day offers an amazing experience: singing on stage at our weekly “Village Idol” talent show; riding a horse at Keaton’s Korral; or playing the world’s largest CANDY LAND game at Matthew’s Boundless Playground. Parents see their children smiling and laughing - things that they haven’t done in weeks, months, even years.
A trip to Give Kids The World Village gives families time together, inspiring a renewed sense of hope and happiness that lasts long after they return home. In a very real sense, the Village offers the gift of time - time away from the burdens of everyday life, the time to rediscover the joy of simply being together.
I am so lucky to be able to capture the memories that our families create during their weeklong visit to Central Florida. I cherish the stories and smiles that are shared with me every time I walk the Avenue of Angles. In order to continue creating these lasting memories I need your help.
This holiday season I hope you will find it in your heart to donate to my campaign aimed at bringing happiness and inspiring hope. I’m committed to raising 5 thousand dollars to create future wishes. Follow the link to the donation page, and dig in those couch cushions, to send me Over The Edge!