As volunteers, donors, wish families and even employees of GKTW can attest, the Village inspires people in a number of ways. For one family, inspiration led them to move to Florida from Canada to be closer to GKTW.
The story begins with wish child Noah and the Loewen family’s life-changing visit to GKTW in March 2009. Noah’s sweet smile is imprinted on the hearts of anyone who was fortunate enough to encounter him. At just three years old, Noah enjoyed each moment and his charisma created something more powerful than words.
His two older siblings, Kailyn and Joshua, will never forget their weeklong trip to Central Florida for Noah’s wish trip to Give Kids The World. It was on this trip that they were able to experience their baby brother in a state of pure joy. With each visit to the Ice Cream Palace and each ride on Noah’s favorite Village attraction, the Enchanted Carousel, the Loewen family grew closer together.
Brad, Noah’s father, recalls the highlight of his three children’s day was returning home from the theme parks to new toys from the gift-giving fairies. The joy and wonderment that his children experienced at Give Kids The World was the catalyst for Brad and his wife, Nichole, to move their family closer to the Village.
In the spring of 2012, the Loewen family said goodbye to their hometown of Winnipeg, Canada and quickly embraced Central Florida as their new home. Now they are able to contribute to other wish families providing the same happiness they experienced. Whether it is scooping up delicious treats in the Ice Cream Palace or carrying trays for families in the Gingerbread House, the entire family constantly gives to the Village in honor of Noah’s legacy.
Brad’s professional life has seen him start a number of businesses focusing on first aid and first responder training and Brad has been kind enough to share his expertise with the Village staff, donating his time and resources in a number of on-site training classes. He generously trains GKTW staff and volunteers on first aid and CPR techniques and recently used his resources to donate not one, but two Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) to the Village.
It is Noah’s spirit and the experience on their wish trip to GKTW that helps keep things in perspective for the Loewen family: at no point in life should the heart beat without purpose, gratitude and an ounce of hope.
Thank you Brad, Nichole, Kailyn and Joshua, for your ongoing dedication and support! We truly appreciate all you do for Give Kids The World.