Once upon a time…
There was this super magical place called Give Kids the World Village. It’s the “storybook” nonprofit resort in Orlando that treats kids with critical illnesses and their families to cost-free, week long vacations that include an entire magical resort with characters, rides and special events catered just for them! Think Big Splash Bash, Life-Size Candy Land, Ms. Merry’s Enchanted Tea Party, Village Idol, Fishing, Horse & Pony Rides, Park of Dreams Pool, Bedtime Stories, Disney Character Photos, Twinkle Hope’s Rockin’ Spa, and SO MUCH MORE! I’ve done my fair share of traveling, and it’s literally one of my favorite places in the world.
Just to clarify… This resort is completely separate from Disney World. Half of all children granted a “wish” choose to come to Central Florida, so this is the perfect home base for them. They currently have villas for over 100 families at a time and are building MORE! While they’re there, all families get free access to Disney World + all the other theme parks, in addition to all the tailored amenities for them at the Village.
I volunteered there once and fell in love – since then I’ve taken my mom, brother, aunt and dad. I’ve volunteered all over, and my absolute favorite is conducting the cute little wheelchair accessible train that circles the village. My mom loves delivering pizzas; my brother loves the [super adorable] handicap-accessible rides (many parents tear up because they’ve never seen their child on a ride before); my aunt loves playing Disney songs on the piano in the cafeteria; and my dad loves the ice cream shop (former Dairy Queen manager in da house). There are so many different areas to pick from though, and I always try to pick at least one new one when I go.
If you have it in your mind that this might be a sad place, I can assure you that it’s the SWEETEST place and you’ll be so sad to leave. The families you meet, the other volunteers that are pouring their heart out, and the amazing full-time staff make this one of the most special places ever. If you’re like me and didn’t even know this place existed, then check out some of these pics of the precious Village and their cute as pie website!
If you’re ever interested in volunteering here, all you have to do is fill out their free volunteer application (here) and a volunteer coordinator will reach out to you via email. And I’m happy to answer any of your questions and pump you up about it! Shifts are only 2-3 hours long, there are tons of different areas you can work in (even for teens) and there’s no minimum commitment. You could tag a morning or afternoon shift onto your next trip to Disney World or Universal Studios. Lots of groups make the trek here just for this place though… high school groups, teams, church groups, BFFs, volunteer orgs, and solo peeps like me. Warning though, it’s addicting. These kids, these families, these volunteers and this place is super magical and my mother and I can’t wait to go back in August!
To top things off, through the generosity of the #CarlaSueTravels community, we donated 101 Disney Autograph Books to their daily gift giving program! Give Kids the World to use on their magical vacation! ❤️
Thanks for helping spread JOY to some super deserving kiddos! ❤️
If you’re interested in doing a fun and rewarding service project for an organization like this with your friends and family, check out my HOW-TO on getting started. Check out some of my other projects here and get inspired! Or not quite ready to jump all the way in? You can follow and participate in my next project and even CO-HOST! Sign up for my newsletter here and get first dibs at all the kindness in action! YOU CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE!
TRAVEL BONUS! I’ve been to 15+ countries and have my personal tips for each location to share with you! Paris * Amsterdam * Northern Lights in Norway * My Fav Travel Items * Rio de Janeiro * Iceland * Neuschwanstein Castle in Germany * Airbnb Tips * Summer Olympics * I Can Fly * Harry Potter Studio in London * Auschwitz * Cheap Flights 101 * Ireland * Ultimate Bucket List * Albuquerque Balloon Festival * Luxury Travel Items * Disney World for Adults (coming soon… Train through Switzerland, Sound of Music in Salzburg and Havana, Cuba!)