After all the hard work I put in during the school year, where do I go? Disneyworld, where else, it’s where Super Bowl and World Series winners go so why not go there after a marathon of finals? Each year, during my short life, this has been my retreat, my reward and where I recoup. Last year, I was fortunate enough to accompany my cousin to Give Kids The World in Florida. As we drove through the gates, I thought I landed in Acme’s cartoon land, bright colored tiny houses, painted characters on the walls, ice cream shop with a giant sundae on top and a gingerbread house.
I actually did land in Candy Land.
As my cousin led me through the different homes and facilities, it became very clear to me how special this place was, not just for him but for those children that are less fortunate than I. Give Kids The World is a hidden gem for children with disabilities who with the assistance of Make A Wish Foundation and generous donors are given an opportunity to experience the same joy that I feel when at Disney World. It brings various programs to the children in the complex. Children can enjoy the latest Disney movies in the theater while munching on fresh popped popcorn. They can play games in the game room, swim at the pool, ride on the merry go round, have boat races or go fishing. There are Disney characters at various times to bring smiles and pose with. Pony rides are available for the cowboy or cowgirl in all of us. Mickey and Minnie Mouse even make a house call to the village to take pictures with you. This is a majestic place where Disney magic is brought to them in the safety of the compound.
The disable children are provided an opportunity to enjoy themselves with other children of various disabilities. The parents find comfort in each other as they discover other parents going through similar situations. I never saw such kindness and generosity. I learned first to be grateful to God for the health I have and thankful to God for my little cousin. The volunteers and staff were so friendly and treated us like royalty. They inspired me to make a commitment to myself that the next time Disney World is in my plans; I will set some time aside to volunteer in this little community and have the opportunity to bring smiles to other people, especially the little ones. I thought after a marathon of final exams, I deserved Disney World, but these angelic children are truly deserving of Disney World after their surgeries and during their course of treatments. Give Kids The World Village provides them the therapy that cannot be manufactured and bottled by a pharmaceutical company. So the next time your plans include a trip to Disney World, please consider donating some time.
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