Give Kids The World Village News

Go Over The Edge for Give Kids The World Village

What would you do to make dreams come true for a critically ill child?

Donate money? Sure. Volunteer? Check. Rappel down a 32-story building?

Wait, what?

Over the Edge

In February, Give Kids The World will give supporters a chance to “walk the walk” — 428 feet straight down — to raise money for the Village. As part of our Over The Edge fundraiser, 76 people will rappel down the side of the Hyatt Regency Orlando on International Drive.

It’s our most extreme fundraiser ever, and we’ve partnered with Over The Edge, a Nova Scotia-based company, to make it happen. For almost a decade, Over The Edge has hosted similar events across the country, raising more than $50 million for nonprofits like Habitat for Humanity, Special Olympics, and Big Brothers Big Sisters.

Over The Edge handles all technical and safety issues. Give Kids The World is responsible for attracting participants. Rappellers must raise at least $1,000, and the total number of climbers is capped at 76.

So what do you say? Ready for a rush?

To register or learn more about Over The Edge for Give Kids The World, visit

Top Six Reasons to go Over The Edge for Give Kids The World

Reasons to go over the Edge

Go Over the Edge


Georgia’s Cotton Candy Wish

At Give Kids The World Village, we found a way to make cotton candy even sweeter.

You take a great little kid named Georgia, give her a cotton candy machine and let her spin to her heart’s content out on the Avenue.

Georgia visited us from New York in October. She’s endured transplants and an endless series of medical treatments that began just weeks after she was born. But Georgia has remained resilient, kindhearted, and, well, sweet.

So sweet, in fact, that when asked what her wish would be by Make-A-Wish granters, she said, “I wish to sell cotton candy!”

Ever since she saw cotton candy spun and served at the beach, Georgia’s been fascinated with the sweet treat. She loves watching videos of cotton candy artists — yes, they exist — and she even owns a mini machine.

Knowing that Central Florida’s theme parks would be full of cotton candy, her wish granters arranged for Georgia to visit Give Kids The World Village. To top off her visit, the Village Personalization and Entertainment Teams whipped up a treat for Georgia.

The final morning of her stay, Georgia expertly twirled pink, sugary fluff around paper cones and presented each one with a smile. GKTW families, staff, and volunteers lined up to request freshly spun cotton candy.

“Small or large?” Georgia asked from behind the cotton candy maker. The 6-year-old needed a step stool to reach the machine, but she didn’t need any help making her customers happy.

“This will absolutely be her highlight of the trip,” said Georgia’s mom, Megan. “It’s kind of a funny thing to wish for, but she’s going to always love and remember this.”

mAAgic Flight

mAAgic Flight Arrives at GKTW

In the aftermath of Hurricane Irma, Village staff and volunteers were busy cleaning and repairing Give Kids The World. Thanks to their efforts, the Village was ready to welcome mAAgic Flight families the very same week.

The mAAgic Flight arrives every year thanks to American Airlines’ Something mAAgic Foundation. The fantastic foundation is made up of volunteers who are current and former American Airlines employees.

The Something mAAgic Foundation coordinated flights for 35 wish families from across the U.S. Each family received a special send-off at their local airport and a welcome celebration — from our Airport Team, volunteers, and characters – when they landed in Orlando.

The following day, we held our mAAgic Flight party at the Once Upon a Village celebration. Chuy’s sponsored the event and provided a delicious dinner, while Something mAAgic volunteers made the night memorable with games and activities.

Thank you, Something mAAgic, for helping these great kids soar into a week filled with magic!

Perkins Pancake Day

Thanks a Brunch for Supporting Perkins Pancake Day!

Every day, Perkins Restaurant & Bakery serves hundreds of complimentary meals to Give Kids The World guests. In September, Perkins hosted its annual Give Kids The World Pancake Day, inviting customers to enjoy a short stack of buttermilk pancakes free of charge and encouraging them to donate to the Village.

“The most important meal of the day” was served all day long at dozens of Perkins locations, around the country. Mayor Clayton hopped over to several restaurants and visited with GKTW Alumni Families who came out to support the Village in their communities.

“We were at GKTW a year ago, eating ice cream for breakfast,” GKTW Alumni Mom Sarah said on Facebook. “Today, we are eating pancakes at Perkins and donating money to GKTW!”

Perkins also rolled out a new element of Pancake Day: donations via social media. Customers were encouraged to share photos of their short stacks and smiles with the hashtag #GKTWPancakeDay. For each post, Perkins donated an additional $1 to the Village. This creative approach helped to deliver a successful and engaging event all around.

Thank you to everyone who visited Perkins Restaurant & Bakery for GKTW Pancake Day! We loved seeing smiles and photos from our Alumni Families, friends, volunteers, staff, and supporters. And an extra serving of gratitude to Perkins for hosting another wonderful Pancake Day and supporting our Village every day.


Simcha Layeladim Returns to GKTW

This year marked the ninth annual visit to the Village for Simcha Layeladim, which organized trips in January and August.

Simcha Layeladim is a nonprofit organization that grants the wishes of Israeli children with life-threatening illnesses. They typically travel to Orlando with a large group of families who stay at Give Kids The World.

These kids, parents and volunteers stay in the Village’s Fairy Tale Forest and spend a week enjoying Central Florida’s theme parks. Our Operations Team sets up a large tent, where Simcha Layeladim volunteers serve kosher meals for the families.

We were thrilled to see Simcha Layeladim, which means “happiness and joy for the children,” make two visits this year. The group that arrived in August all use wheelchairs and were able to enjoy GKTW’s accessible attractions and experiences.

Mayor Clayton made a special visit to Simcha Layeladim after breakfast the final morning of their stay. Children and volunteers were eager to dance and pose for photos with him. It was a terrific way to end a terrific week.

Save the Date

Crayol Experience

Crayola Experience Tickets
Now through November 11, 2017

The Crayola Experience Orlando is as colorful as a child’s imagination. Friends of Give Kids The World Village can save $5 off admission. Crayola will donate $1 of each ticket sold to the Village. Purchase tickets, or enter code GKTW at checkout on .

Challenge for Hope

Challenge for Hope
Saturday, November 11, 2017

Give Kids The World Village invites participants of all ages and skill levels to see our whimsical, “storybook” resort up close and personal. Walk, run, roll or stroll past a magical castle, a snoring tree, the world’s largest CANDY LAND game, and more. The spirited 5K celebrates the joys of childhood and inspires hope for kids and families who need it most. Hurry! The last day to register online is November 10. Can’t make it to the Village? Become a virtual challenger, and complete the Challenge when, where, and however you like. Register today!

Giving Tuesday

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

As you prepare to save on Black Friday and Cyber Monday, remember to give back and celebrate generosity with your friends, family and favorite charities. #GivingTuesday is a global day dedicated to giving back. Learn more.

NY Holiday Celebration

Give Kids The World Village Holiday Celebration in New York City
December 1, 2017

Celebrate the season and support dream vacations for critically ill children at Give Kids The World Village. The storybook resort is the destination for families who wish to visit the magic of Central Florida. The evening features delicious hors d’oeuvres, drinks, and dazzling entertainment. In the spirit of giving, enjoy a silent auction with signature items benefiting Give Kids The World. Purchase tickets.

Boston Market Coupon Books

Boston Market Coupon Books
now through February 2018

Boston Market serves delicious meals in Katie’s Kitchen here at Give Kids The World Village. The restaurant chain also supports the Village through its 2017 holiday coupon book campaign. For a $1 donation, customers can receive a coupon book with over $31 in savings for this holiday season. Learn more.

Over the Edge

Go Over the Edge for Give Kids The World
Friday, February 9, 2018

Take your fundraising to the extreme, and Go Over the Edge for Give Kids The World! You can be one of 76 adrenalin chasers who’ll rappel down the side of the 428-foot-high Hyatt Regency Orlando on International Drive to raise money for Give Kids The World Village. It’s your chance to show just how far you’ll go to make children’s wishes come true. You provide the courage, we’ll provide the rush. Get involved.

Give Kids The World Village