When I close my eyes and think of Christmas, I envision a million twinkling lights in the night. What a beautiful thing it is that Give Kids the World Village is lighting up with 3.3 million lights to help children with critical illnesses. Night of a Million Lights opens November 13th, and I can personally guarantee that this is the one Christmas activity your family won’t want to miss.
Give Kids the World Village is a nonprofit that houses the families of children with potentially terminal illnesses for a one-week dream vacation. Their joy is the reason the GKTW Foundation exists. And since 1986, more than 176,000 families from all 50 states and 75 countries have been able to participate in free vacations, far from hospitals and treatments. Unfortunately, due to COVID-19, the Village had to shut down in March, and 6,000 families have had their vacations put on hold. That’s a lot of children.
Thankfully, the Foundation has a plan! With 3.2 million lights borrowed from Disney World and more than 45 villas decorated by partners (including Kennedy Space Center, Universal Orlando, and Chik-Fil-A) they’ve decked out the Village with holiday spirit and decorations. The walk-through experience is set in the 89-acre non-profit resort that took 24 lighting techs, a production team, plus 400 volunteers to create. They are opening to the public from 5 to 10 PM every night with advance tickets selling fas online right now! Admission includes free hot cocoa and ice cream, as well as unlimited access to the wheelchair-accessible rides.
The Media Preview night was crowned with a visit from Disney Legend and Tony Award-winning actress Jodi Benson. Aside from being known as The Little Mermaid, she has been involved with Give Kids the World for the last 5 years and expressed a great awe for those families she had met through the program. Her message is clear: let’s sell all 50,000 available tickets and do the most good for these families!
Proceeds from this event will benefit the Give the Kids the World Village and help to provide these families with memories of pure joy. With your help, 166 villas can hold these families for an entire week, provide free food, transportation, entertainment, and tickets to the main theme parks (Walt Disney World, Universal Studios, Sea World), and you’ll also be getting the Christmas experience of the year.
It is not an overstatement to say that this event epitomizes the spirit of Christmas. It is a beautiful Christmas display for a tremendous cause. Not located far from Disney, try a new family tradition this year that will benefit other families too. If you’re as touched by the experience as many of us have been already, Give Kids the World Village also accepts volunteers every week. But be sure to check out this event between November 13th, 2020, and January 3rd, 2021.
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