Give Kids The World celebrates one million volunteer hours

Posted Wednesday, July 15, 2009 1:55 PM | Contributed by Jeff

[Ed. note: The following is an unedited press release. -J]

Give Kids The World Village has reached an amazing milestone in volunteer hours and community support; more than 1,000,000 volunteer hours have been logged by the dedicated “volunteer Angels” who share their time, talents, and heart with the guests of Give Kids The World Village. This milestone was reached by all of the dedicated volunteers who serve at the Village each and every day to help create a hope-inspiring vacation for children with a life-threatening illness and their families from all over the world. More than 1,500 volunteer shifts are filled each week to help the Village’s special guests experience their memorable vacations. Without the time and talents of the dedicated volunteers, Give Kids The World would not be able to offer all of the magical moments and special times to families in need of a break from their struggles with childhood illness.

This amazing milestone is a rarity among nonprofit organizations. While many companies can boast that employees have donated one million volunteer hours to their communities, the hours are cumulative, earned at many charity locations throughout the community. Very few organizations can say that one million volunteer hours we are all given at one location, for one organization.

“We are so proud to have reached this amazing milestone of one million logged volunteer hours,” said Pamela Landwirth, president, Give Kids The World. “I cannot even imagine how we would accomplish all that we do without the support and spirit of our volunteers. We owe them so very much for giving this great gift of one million hours to help us a difference in the lives of the precious children we serve.”

Give Kids The World volunteers come from the Central Florida community – and all over the nation. From the seasonal “snow bird” seniors who volunteer tirelessly through the fall and winter seasons to the local high school students working to earn community service hours for graduation, to countless youth groups, colleges and selfless individuals, volunteers at Give Kids The World give so much to the more than 6,500 families who visit the Village each year.

The local Florida-community volunteer piece is just one small part of the entire volunteer picture at the Village. Each year, Give Kids The World welcomes thousands of “visiting volunteers.” Many are with companies staying in Orlando during a convention who volunteer as part of a teambuilding project. Others are families on vacation, looking for a trip that gives back, and helps teach their children about philanthropy. And even more are high school and college students, who trade in a relaxing week at the beach for an “Alternative Spring Break experience” that is all about working hard and helping families who need something to smile to about.

Give Kids The World Village opened in Kissimmee, Florida in 1989 and from day one, the volunteers and their dedication to the Village’s mission has never wavered. Volunteers at Give Kids The World serve meals, greet arriving families at the airport, deliver pizza, host evening entertainment, help in the administrative offices and bring the Village’s character program to life. The possibilities for volunteering at Give Kids The World are endless; the reward is priceless. To learn more about volunteer opportunities at Give Kids The World log on to www.gktw.org or call 407.396.0770.

Give Kids The World Village (GKTW) is a 70-acre, nonprofit resort in Central Florida that creates magical memories for children with life-threatening illnesses and their families. GKTW provides accommodations at its whimsical resort, donated attractions tickets, meals and more for a weeklong, cost-free fantasy vacation. With the help of many generous individuals, corporations and partnering wish-granting organizations, Give Kids The World has welcomed more than 97,000 families from all 50 states and over 68 countries.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009 4:10 PM

Proud to contributed to some of those million hour when I VoluntEared for GKTW back in the early 90s while on the WDW College Program. One of the GREAT things in America that doesn't get a whole lot of attention but serves an inspiring role in society...that happens to touch the business we all love.

Volunteers then (and I'm sure now) came from all of the area parks (Disney, Universal, Sea World) along with some of the big hotel chains. The Village has expanded over the years (a sad...but beautiful...necessity) in order to accommodate more children and families. If you get a chance to stop in some day just to see it you will be inspired. If you ever have the opportunity to volunteer I would highly recommend it.

(They even sponsored a float in one of the former Rose Parades.)

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