The second of two blog posts from Girl Twin’s Make-A-Wish trip to Disney World is written, but still pending photos. Fingers crossed that I can have it ready for next week!
In the meantime, bear with me. I am concocting a plan, and I need your help to make it happen. Hear me out:
Give Kids the World Village, as I explained here, hosted our family during Lauren’s Wish trip. In the busy summer season, it serves as a free hotel to over 100 families with medically fragile/life-threatening condition children with wishes to visit Disney World (only about 40 families vacationed there with us this month, the off season).
During our week-long stay there we found volunteers everywhere. They were raking leaves in the yard in front of our duplex, delivering via golf cart coffee to our doorstep in the morning and cookies the rest of the day, picking up our kitchen trash, sweeping sidewalks, serving us free breakfast, lunch, & dinner. They run the gift shop, the daytime and evening activities for the kids and families, the ice cream shop, the merry-go-round, and the guard gate at the property entrance. This place is ahh-mazing. I was astounded at how the local metro-Orlando communities and businesses have embraced such a cause and I got the sense that nothing but nothing would stop them from keeping this place up and running.
Well, they lack one thing. This is where you come in–they keep a DVD library for families to use on our off-days. When it comes to families with Wish kids, some days we’re not up to the challenge of visiting 7+ theme parks. The pace of those theme park days, and the stamina required to endure them, it can completely sap us. Having the option to take a load off and enjoy a movie in our villa was so wonderful (all the villas are equipped with TV’s and DVD players). Plus, the weather in Florida can be so unpredictable that all the stamina in the world cannot make you want to visit Disney World in the rain. The only catch: their DVD library needs some fleshing out. You know those cubicle storage units that Target sells, the ones that look so useful in their pretty advertisements but when you get them home it turns out that they’re not quite so useful? The DVD library at GKTW takes up just two of those cubicle squares. Their DVD library is entirely dependent upon donations, so it’s all but empty. Our local library’s DVD section has hundreds to choose from, but that’s not the case at Give Kids the World. Not a single Harry Potter. Zero Star Wars. None of the Night at the Museums, and nary a sign of a Home Alone. It’s so sad. Instead, there were a few Blues Clues, a Hannah Montana flick, and some Lizzie McGuire discs. Right then I pledged to survey our own DVD collection when we got home and ship over whatever we’ve outgrown.
Due to the nature of the program, kiddos who stay at Give Kids the World are facing life-and-death uncertainties and I guarantee to you that their parents are in the process of making some decisions that you probably can’t even imagine ever having to face. If the child who has the enormous blessing (and misfortune, given the requirements to stay there) to deserve a stay at GKTW needs some downtime on the couch with a movie and her family, they deserve some age-appropriate movies that they might really enjoy. I realize that perhaps in the grand scheme of things a few DVD donations aren’t going to make or break the good people at Give Kids the World. But you, I ask you to realize that some Spy Kids or some How to Train Your Dragon would have been warmly welcomed during our down days.
Your task: Go through your DVD collections. Anything that a kid aged 1-18–or their families–might enjoy and you can do without, ship it to Give Kids the World. They ask for only G- and PG-rated films, and while I want to respect that I still think they deserve ALL the Harry Potter flicks (at least one of those is PG-13). Use your discretion. Also, if you’re in the United States, use “Media Mail”–it’s cheaper than any other type of postage.
Give Kids The World Village, Attn: Project Rainy Day
210 South Bass Road
Kissimmee, FL 34746
Should you wish to participate but have more money than time, visit this handy Amazon wish list I personally made for them. It will ship directly to the good people at GKTW.
I can’t do much to show my gratitude for everything we were able to enjoy as a family during Lauren’s Make-A-Wish trip to Orlando. But I can certainly help make the visits of their future families more enjoyable. Besides, Kyle still hasn’t chosen what his Wish will be. If he eventually picks Disney World, we’ll all be back at GKTW, but hopefully not be stuck with such a dismal DVD collection again…
Update: I’ve had 20 DVD’s dropped off at my doorstep and three more purchased from the Amazon wish list in the ~36 hours that this post has been up. The kiddos staying at Give Kids the World this summer will be well entertained! Ideally there will be 300 more DVD’s sent to them, but we’ll see how it goes.
Q: How much would I love a donation of 140 Blu-Ray players for them? A: It would make my year. And…. go!
Cassandra can be found on Twitter @aclevergirl. Learn more about her family’s unique challenges and why they have hope for a cure for muscular dystrophy at byrdsforacure.org.