BENEFITING: Give Kids The World, Inc.
The story of Give Kids The World begins with a little girl named Amy, a wish, and the desire of one man to make that wish come true. Amy had leukemia and a wish to visit Orlando’s theme parks. To facilitate this wish, a respected hotelier was asked to provide a complimentary stay for Amy and her family. Although the hotelier gladly obliged, the remainder of Amy's travel plans took too long to arrange, and her wish was never granted. Time simply ran out, and Amy had passed away. This unfulfilled wish inspired the hotelier to make a vow that no child in need would ever be failed again. That man was Henri Landwirth, and his desire to ensure that Amy's story would never repeat itself is a mission Give Kids The World has fulfilled since 1986. Landwirth enlisted the support of colleagues in the hospitality and tourism industries to assist him in bringing these special families to Central Florida within 24 hours if need be. He called the project Give Kids The World, because that is just what he intended to do - provide magical experiences with a vacation that means the world to children with life-threatening illnesses and their families. As the program expanded and the number of families continued to grow, it was apparent that Give Kids The World would need to create a place that could better serve the needs of our families. In 1989, the gates of Give Kids The World Village opened and what once was a dream was now a 31-acre reality. Today the Village is a 79-acre resort with 144 villa accommodations, unique entertainment attractions, whimsical venues, and fun activities for children of all abilities. With the help of many generous individuals, corporations and partnering wish-granting organizations, Give Kids The World Village has welcomed more than 146,000 families from all 50 states and 75 countries.