ENERGY IN ACTION – EPISODE 031
Making Mito Wishes Come True – A Partnership with Give Kids The World Village
MitoAction and Give Kids The World have partnered to provide kids in the community an amazing experience. Amy from Give Kids the World joins me to share more about the organization and program offerings for wish families.
What is the history of Give Kids The World?
The village was founded by Henri Landwirth, who has an incredible story as a holocaust survivor. After coming to the United States he studied hospitality in college and later went on to own and operate the first Holiday Inn just outside of Disney. He learned of wish families coming to the area and would offer to let them stay at his hotel for free. After a little girl wasn’t able to make her wish trip in time, Henri formed partnerships to help facilitate quicker fulfillment of wish trips. In 1986, Henri answered a need for Make-A-Wish and established Give Kids The World. Three years later, he opened Give Kids The World Village which has since grown to 166 villas, 89 acres and we’ve hosted over 176,000 families from all over the world. What started as a small vision to help wish families has grown and we’re honored to continue Henri’s legacy.
How do kids get a wish granted and what can they expect from Give Kids The World?
We work with over 220 wish granting partners around the world who identify wish families, determining that a child has a life-threatening or critical illness and that their wish involves central Florida. The wish granting organization works with us to set up accommodations at the village. In addition to the family villas, we serve all meals, we have two pools, a spa, a splash pad, entertainment programs, attractions and a gift fairy. It’s not just a hotel stay, but also a week’s worth of activities. Our theme park partners include Disney, Universal, Sea World, Legoland, Gatorland, Kennedy Space Center, Aquatica and several others. They provide a range of vacation options for families staying with us, which our guest experience team will arrange and plan prior to a family’s stay.
Can families come back to the Give Kids The World Village?
A wish trip is a once in a lifetime opportunity, but families with additional wish children can come back again. Otherwise, families are welcome to visit the village for day trips two times per calendar year as an alumni family. Often families come back and want to visit the Castle of Miracles, a really special place at the village. Every wish child gets a gold star when they arrive and they write their name or draw a picture on the star and give it to the star fairy who will hang it in the galaxies of the castle at night. They’ll get a star passport telling them where to find their star, so they can always come back to visit and find their star.