Alumni wish child, Ashton, from New Orleans, scoops and serves ice cream with her family at the Ice Cream Palace. The entire time all you can see is her dazzling smile. The sound of her cheerful laughter resonates throughout the palace – it is inevitable that things are bound to get a little messy. But Ashton doesn’t mind, in fact she absolutely loves it! Her little sister, Hayley, also helps scoop ice cream and loves that wish families compliment her on making these yummy treats. They both love to go above and beyond and like showing their kindness by volunteering. Their bright attitudes radiate and their compassion for wish children at the Village, reminds them of their own personal experience at Give Kids The World.
This is something very special and common at GKTW – alumni families coming back to the Village to drop in for a pleasant visit to see how things have grown and changed. Some alumni families also have the incredible opportunity to return to the resort and become volunteer Angels.
When the Webre family relocated from New Orleans to Orlando, they could not be more thrilled. Their wonderful stay at the Village, back in March of 2002, made the entire gang want to come back to GKTW. Not only did they want to visit, but they were excited to volunteer as well. Their enthusiasm could barely be contained as the family happily attended their volunteer orientation – even before going to Disney (or moving into their newly acquired home!) The Webre family enjoys bringing their friends and family to the Village to experience and see where they spent “the best week ever, during the worst time of our lives.”
As most parents of wish children know, coping with daily struggles and adversities that their child has to endure is painful. Lori spent many mornings in the Village Chapel, a haven of solace, where she was able to gain her spiritual strength for the day and rely on her faith to continue to persevere. GKTW is a whimsical escape where positive energy is spread throughout the Village, and the families don’t have to worry about a thing.
“GKTW was a beam of light during the darkest time in our lives,” explains Lori Webre, mother of wish child, Ashton. “It was the most necessary thing we never knew we needed on that journey. We came home hopeful and refreshed and knowing we could keep going.”
GKTW has given many children the happiest memories they could ever have imagined. Every magical moment spent in a storybook fairy-tale that makes the Village their home, away from home. Those memories inspire alumni wish families to pay the kindness forward and help out where they can.
The Webre family shares their kindness throughout the Village when they visit and volunteer at GKTW. Their faith-based values have been strengthened during their time at GKTW, where they find gratitude and love in every volunteer opportunity they experience. The Village festivities have also become fun-time for Ashton, who has loved dressing up as a beautiful princess for the Pirates and Princesses Party. The Webres also adopted a GKTW villa, and enjoy decorating it during the Christmas season – a family tradition that has created a humbling experience for them for the past three years. Happily scooping up yummy ice cream as volunteer Angels still brings the Webres joy, and reminds them of the hope they felt when they experienced their magical stay at the Village.
For more information on how you can make a difference in the life of a child, please visit Give Kids The World’s volunteer website.