This weekend, I joined many other Central Florida bloggers at the 3rd Give Kids the World Blogger Bash. The event gathered us together to let us know more about the organization, and to give us the information we need to help promote them.
We gathered in the new on-property Town Hall, which just opened in June of this year. The main room features kids height tables and chairs that are still adult-friendly, and it was there that we learned more about Give Kids the World.
This wonderful organization, which turns 30 in March 2016, operates a 74-acre non-profit “storybook” resort in Kissimmee where children with life-threatening illnesses and their families are treated to weeklong cost-free vacations. In the time it’s been open it has hosted over 138,000 families from all over the world.
There are 144 villas, along with numerous venues like an ice cream parlor, train ride, a carousel, a beauty salon, and movie/entertainment theater. It’s set up so that kids can forget their problems for a week, and just play with their families and other kids.
If they want to leave property, Walt Disney World, Universal Orlando, and SeaWorld Orlando all offer the resort tickets for the families. They also bring their characters to the resort to meet the kids who aren’t up for a day at the parks. SeaWorld Orlando even brings animals like their sloth to meet the kids.
Give Kids the World also has their own animal characters to interact with the children, including Mayor and Mrs. Clayton (rabbits) and Rugby and Reme (dogs). I can tell you first hand, the kids love them all!
The Town Hall also houses a brand new cafeteria, Cafe Clayton, for the families to eat at free of charge. The food is supplied by Boston Market, Perkins Restaurants, and Papa Johns daily, but you wouldn’t know it because there are no sponsor signs or logos. Instead the areas are labeled Nancy’s Kitchen, Mama Merry’s Pizza, and Katie’s Kitchen.
So how can you help Give Kids the World? Right now, one easy way is to take part in the Ice Cream Challenge. Kicked off by actor Kevin Bacon, all you need to do is challenge a family member or friend to eat ice cream for six seconds. Which ever person eats the least donates $6 (or more) to Give Kids the World. For more information, visit gktw.org/bacon and tag your video or photos of the challenge #GKTWChallenge.
Another way is to attend events benefiting Give Kids the World, and you can find them listed on the website at GKTW.org.
And in case you’re wondering, Give Kids The World Village is four-star rated by Charity Navigator. More than 93 cents of every dollar spent goes directly to programs and families that Give Kids The World Village serves, and guest surveys show 99.7 percent overall guest satisfaction.
Here’s a great shot of all the wonderful bloggers who attended the event (minus a few who were running late):
Thanks again to Give Kids the World for having us out to tour the resort and to the Bash sponsors for their wonderful parting gifts.
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