Sam Nation Gives Back to GKTW

by gktwadmin on July 15, 2013

in The Family Experience, The Volunteer Experience

The Prescott family first visited Give Kids The World for Sam’s wish trip during a summery August week in 2011. The family heard about GKTW from our dear friends at the Make-A-Wish Foundation but had no idea what to expect. Nothing could prepare them for the magical week ahead.

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Sam poses with Santa during the Winter Wonderland celebration.

“We had no cares or worries during our trip. No one rushed us, so we had the opportunity to enjoy our time together,” asserted Sam’s mother Joyce. Sam loved swimming in the Park of Dreams Pool and dining in the Ice Cream Palace. “Sam set a goal during our trip to eat ice cream at least four times a day, and she stuck to that goal,” added Mike, Sam’s father.

On one of Sam’s first visits to the Ice Cream Palace, she met a lovely volunteer named Sandra. Sandra offered Sam ice cream for breakfast and Sam jumped at the opportunity. Sam was so impressed by Sandra’s kindness that she gave Sandra a blue Sam Nation bracelet. Sam Nation was started by Samantha, her friends and her family as a way to help give back to those who had helped Sam along her journey.

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All 33 members of the visiting volunteer group, Sam Nation, gather for a group photo at the end of their visit.

In Sam’s memory, her family and friends continue Sam Nation as a volunteer and scholarship program. Sam Nation held several fundraisers within their community to raise the funds needed to orchestrate a volunteer trip to GKTW all the way from Massachusetts.

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Members of Sam Nation pose with Mayor Clayton during a night of volunteering.

The Village was happy to welcome 33 members of Sam Nation, including Sam’s parents and several inspiring teenagers. During this memorable trip, the group volunteered in the Ice Cream Palace, the Gingerbread House, delivered pizzas to our families and participated in nighttime entertainment. When not in their Pirates and Princesses attire, the group sported matching t-shirts decorated with angel wings that were a collage of the team’s signatures.

“It is great to be back helping other families enjoy their stay. Sam would be proud,” said Mike.

On the last day of Sam Nation’s visit, Mike arrived early and chatted with fellow volunteer Angels. As he shared the story of the ice cream volunteer who Sam had remembered so fondly, an Angel instantly knew who the volunteer was. Ironically enough, Sandra would be working in the Ice Cream Palace later that morning. Mike excitedly shared his story with Sandra who instantly remembered Sam. In fact, she still had her blue Sam Nation bracelet.

Give Kids The World was happy to welcome this group of amazing angels. Thank you, Sam Nation, for celebrating Sam’s memory with us.

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Sam Nation t-shirts, decorated with angel wings made of a collage of the team’s signatures.

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