Saturday, January 22, 2011

Give Kids The World

Paige was a little three-year-old girl from Indianapolis with a life-threatening illness.  Her biggest wish was to meet Bear from Bear in the Big Blue House, but due to Bear’s traveling schedule, the Make-A-Wish Foundation was unable to grant it.  Her next wish was to visit Walt Disney World.
Paige was what’s known as a “Rush Wish”.  A “Rush-Wish” is a child that could die within twenty-four hours, and probably will not survive the week at Walt Disney World that is their “wish”.  While visiting Walt Disney World, Paige and her family stayed at the Give Kids The World Village, a Central Florida resort specifically designed to cater to Make-A-Wish children and their families.  While Paige was there, a show was put on featuring Bear from Bear and the Big Blue House.  After the show was over, Pamela Ladwirth, one of the village administrators, noticed that everyone in the family of this little girl was crying, and she went over to make sure everything was okay.  Upon learning how special Bear was to Paige, Pamela raced backstage and asked Bear to come meet the little girl.  Bear came out and sniffed Paige (for those who have never watched the show, this is a Bear trademark).  Then Bear said to her, “You know Paige, if I were to have a wish, it would have been to meet you.
This was in October.  Paige’s family wrote to the Give Kids the World Village that Paige was able to make it through Christmas.  This child, who was not supposed to last the week, got to have one more Christmas with her family, and they truly believe that her wonderful experience at the Give Kids the World Village gave her the strength to keep fighting a little while longer.

Paige isn’t alone.  Each year over 27,000 children in the United States alone are diagnosed with life-threatening illnesses. Half of those children choose as their wish through the Make-A-Wish Foundation to visit Walt Disney World.  Only about 7,000 a year make it, however.  There currently aren’t enough funds donated so that each of these dying children can get their wish. But you can help.

Give Kids The World Village is a 70-acre, non-profit resort in Central Florida that creates magical memories for children with life-threatening illnesses and their families. It provides accommodations at its whimsical resort and donates attractions tickets, meals, and more for a week-long, cost-free fantasy vacation. It is specifically designed for children with special needs. With the help of many generous individuals, corporations, and partnering wish-granting organizations, Give Kids The World has welcomed more than 100,000 families from all 50 states and over 70 countries.  So many of the families who have stayed with them write the village afterwards to say what the trip did for them.  Many children then had the strength to go back and continue treatments to fight and even overcome their illnesses.  For those who don’t make it, their families get this wonderful memory to cherish for the rest of their lives.  Because while the rest of the memories for those families are of hospital rooms and doctors’ offices, of being told “No, you can’t so this” or “No, we can’t afford that”, this is a week of “yeses”.  Imagine that you are the 16-year-old girl in a wheelchair who for the first time can shower alone because of the facilities designed just for people like her.  Or imagine that for the first time, no one is staring at your wheelchair, or your trach tube, or your bald head, because all of the other kids in the village are going through the same thing.

In addition to providing such a wonderful service, Give Kids The World was named Worth magazine’s “most fiscally responsible charity in the US”.  To give you an idea, most charities are considered fiscally responsible if their administration costs run around 35%.  That means of every dollar you spend, $.65 goes to the mission.  Give Kids the World has administration costs of 6.3%, so over $.93 of each dollar donated is used directly for the children!

Why am I writing about this charity now?  Because right now the wonderful folks at the DIS (, have initiated The Power of 10: Give Kids the World $1 Million Challenge.  I’ll let them tell you about it in their own words:

We are a group of Disney fans who want to help share our passion for Disney with those who need it most: children with life threatening illnesses and their families. When these children ask to visit Walt Disney World through organizations like the Make-A-Wish foundation, many times those organizations reach out to Give Kids The World to make that wish a reality.
Our goal is simple. We’re looking for 10,000 people who are willing to commit to asking 10 friends to donate $10 to Give Kids the World. If we can accomplish that seemingly simple task, we will raise $1M to help this worthy organization in their mission to turn no child away.
We are looking to show the power of the internet in raising money for good causes. Virtually every dollar raised through this initiative will go to Give Kids The World. The only exception are donations made through – that organization does take a small processing fee for each donation made through their web site. Beyond that – every dollar will go directly to helping these realize their wish of visiting the happiest place on earth.

So that’s why I’m writing.  I want to encourage all of you to please help in this wonderful cause.  Donations can be made by texting the word DISGKTW to 50555 - you will send a $10 donation directly to Give Kids the World via, or by visiting the FirstGiving web site at  Money collected via FirstGiving is sent directly to Give Kids the World (less a 7.5% processing fee charged by

You may help save a life.  You will help provide wonderful memories for families suffering from non-stop fear and sadness. Please don’t turn your back on them.

If/when you donate, please let me (and everyone else) know at  You’ll have done something good, and I think you deserve a little recognition for it!

P.S. I don’t have direct permission from the folks at The DIS to write this post, but they are pretty nice, so I think it will be okay. ;)

No comments:

Post a Comment