So, where does the magic begin for those visiting Give Kids The World Village? Some would tell you the magic begins at the Ice Cream Palace. Others would tell you the magic begins on the Enchanted Carousel. However, for most children and their families, the magic begins when they arrive at the airport.
In September 2009, 8-year-old Caedmon came to visit GKTW from Texas as part of his one wish to visit the theme parks of Central Florida. As he got off the plane, a volunteer “Angel” with a big “Welcome Caedmon Hollingsworth” sign at Orlando International Airport (MCO) greeted him. He was all smiles and was excited to arrive at the Village. To make Caedmon and other wish children’s wishes reality, GKTW and the Angels provide these children with everything they could ever want from the very beginning.
Airport greetings are just one of many volunteer services that GKTW provides wish families. It is the first impression that families have of the Village, and can leave a lasting impression on a family. Angels who participate in airport greetings witness the child’s and their family’s first moments of joy the second they arrive. It is like opening a present on Christmas morning. Seeing a child open their very first present during Christmas is always special. Angels at the airport also make sure these children and their families have everything they need before arriving at the Village. They help the family navigate baggage claim, lead them to their rental car and, most importantly, make sure these children and their families are ready to experience one of the most magical and carefree places they could ever imagine.
We are grateful for our volunteer Angels who fulfill the wishes of our guests the very moment their feet step off the plane.
Contributed by Courtney O’Banion