Smiles! Joy! Hope! This is what children and their families experience at Give Kids The World’s Gingerbread House. I, a volunteer from Minnesota, am fortunate enough to share in this joy when helping out at Give Kids The World. My love, adoration and commitment to Give Kids The World is knowing that I am making a difference in the lives of children battling life-threatening illnesses as well as offering them something they might not have had before.
My first week volunteering at Give Kids The World was one of the most magical moments in my life! To see the importance of what is being done there, the hope that is inspired and having the belief that this is one of the biggest things I will ever do in my life is what keeps me going back every year.
Meals at home bring the family together. The Gingerbread House does so much more. You eat your meals as a family, together! You are constantly surrounded by siblings, parents, grandparents and new-found friends! Everyone comes together at the Gingerbread House.
In my three and a half years of volunteering, I have worked in most areas of the Village but the Gingerbread House has always been my favorite. At breakfast, I get to see the families and their excitement for the day ahead. Later in the day, at dinner, I get to meet up with the families again and hear about the great day they just had. It does not matter whether I am cleaning dishes, serving food, cleaning a table or helping children to their seats, these conversations provide me the opportunity to share in the excitement with the families. As I serve, I become an extension of those families. These shared experiences make me want to do more, help more and serve more.
My experience with Give Kids The World started because of my relationship with Perkins Restaurant & Bakery as their food service provider while living in Minnesota. The continued support that Perkins has provided Give Kids The World has been nothing but inspiring. The fundraisers that Perkins holds have been great opportunities to help those who visit the Village by lending support to the Gingerbread House.
Saturday, September 15, is Give Kids The World Pancake Day. This is one of the many ways Perkins supports the Village, and is another way that I can support too. I plan on eating at Perkins for this wonderful event. By attending, I will receive a free short stack of pancakes and, in turn, give a donation for Give Kids The World.
The money that is raised will help provide meals to feed the families that visit Give Kids The World. The food is the meal, but sharing that meal becomes a family experience, which creates a memory that is filled with determination, inspiration and hope!