Give Kids The World Village in Kissimmee, has announced that it will be reopening to wish families this month, nearly 10 months from the day that it closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The 89-acre nonprofit resort provides transformative weeklong wish vacations to critically ill children and their families from around the world at no cost—with more than 176,000 families served since 1986. Since mid-March, the wishes of more than 6,000 critically ill children have been postponed due to the closure.
With safety as its number one priority, Give Kids The World Village will be taking a thoughtful, phased approach to reopening, beginning with a limited number of families and gradually growing its occupancy over time. The decision to reopen has been made with the full support of the Village’s longtime theme park partners, Walt Disney World Resort, Universal Orlando Resort and SeaWorld, and after careful consultation with the infectious disease experts at Nemours Children’s Hospital.
Nemours Children’s Hospital experts led by pediatric infectious disease clinician and researcher Kenneth A. Alexander, MD, PhD also worked closely with Give Kids The World to develop the nonprofit’s comprehensive COVID-19 safety plan, which has been in effect since March.
“Experts consulting with Give Kids The World have given clear guidance on the scale and staging of reopening, masking, social distancing, handwashing, food service, facilities cleaning, crowd management and transportation, and Give Kids The World has implemented all of these recommendations. Reviewing the reopening preparations at Give Kids The World, we are confident that medically complex children and their families can safely visit the Village,” said Dr. Alexander.
Give Kids The World President and CEO Pam Landwirth said, “We are thrilled to be getting back to our mission of spreading joy and creating the happiness that inspires hope for critically ill children and their families through magical stays in our storybook Village.”
During normal operations, Give Kids The World relies on the compassion and kindness of more than 1,800 volunteers each week to fulfill its charitable mission in support of critically ill children and their families. As the Village reopens, volunteers will once again be welcomed back for life-changing service opportunities.
Rated Four Stars by Charity Navigator—with 90 cents of every dollar donated going directly to program services, Give Kids The World Village was created by Holocaust survivor Henri Landwirth with the goal of never turning a wish child away.
Thanks to the outpouring of support from Village partners, volunteers, Board members, wish granting organizations and staff, the Village will celebrate its 35th anniversary on Sunday, March 7.
For more information, visit www.gktw.org.