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Acting Director of Service-Learning
Office of Service-Learning
4200 54th Avenue South
St. Petersburg, FL 33711
Orlando - Spring Break 2012
Ten students packed their bags and hopped into a van to travel only a few hours away from campus to serve the community at Give Kids the World (GKTW). While our classmates were in exotic places, we spent five days helping make memories for terminally ill children and their families. Roughing it on the floor at a local church house, the group had a great deal of laughs and took a relaxing break from school. Give Kids the World is a non-profit organization that provides cost-free experiences to the children and their families. The village provides the families with magical memories through a variety of ways. While at GKTW many families travel to the Orlando attractions and thousands of “wishes” are granted. GKTW looks to create all-inclusive, memorable experiences for the families.
Each day the group split up to divide the many tasks at hand. GKTW relies on 1,400 volunteer shifts a week. The days were long as the group started early in the day and ended late, but not once was a complaint uttered. The group could be found helping with games, delivering food to the villas, hosting halloween, handing out activities at pool parties, operating rides, and dancing around just to name a few. Two of the most memorable events that we assisted with were serving breakfast at the Gingerbread House and becoming buddies at Kids Night Out. Serving breakfast gave the group the chance to talk and bond a bit more with the families. Kids Night Out gave parents three hours off while we took over and became buddies with their kids. During that time we played games, had dinner, and participated in a talent show. Making the connection with the kids and families was an unforgettable experience.
At the end of the week, the group had a greater appreciation for their surroundings and wellbeing. The group all agreed that helping the families was a meaningful and memorable experience. To find out more information about Give Kids the World visit: http://gktw.org/pre/.
“We make a living by what we get, but we make a life out of what we give” -Winston Churchill