The nonprofit resort that helped critically-ill children and their families visit Central Florida has announced it will remain closed indefinitely amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Give Kids The World Village, an 84-acre resort in Kissimmee, works with the Make-A-Wish Foundation when critically-ill children wish to visit theme parks and attractions like Disney World, providing them and their families with free, weeklong vacations. According to the nonprofit’s website, it has assisted in fulfilling these wishes for 175,000 kids and their families since 1986.
In a Facebook post, president and CEO Pamela Landwirth said Make-A-Wish informed the resort that it will not be scheduling any such trips until a vaccine for COVID-19 is in wide use.
Landwirth added that while the likes Universal Orlando, Disney World, and SeaWorld Orlando are reopening, there’s no word on when vulnerable guests — like the critically-ill kids that come to Give Kids The World — can safely return to theme parks.
“The Village, therefore, will remain closed for an undetermined period of time,” Landwirth said. “Unfortunately, this means we must lay off the majority of our staff effective Saturday, June 27, 2020. A small team will remain to ensure the safety and security of the Village and to nurture our relationships with you – our alumni families, volunteers, wish granting organizations, donors and other partners as well as prepare for our eventual reopening. If there is a rush wish prior to our reopening, we will work with our wish granting partners to fulfill that wish.”
She ended her statement with a pledge: “I can promise you that I will work tirelessly to find a way to reopen our beloved Village as soon as possible.”
Tax-deductible donations to Give Kids the World can be made here.
‘Nothing worked as planned’: Universal Studios Florida’s infamous opening day
PHOTOS: Universal Orlando hosts preview after coronavirus shutdown
LISTEN: Orlando Rising talks theme park journalism, COVID-19 on Kingdoms & Coasters podcast