Give Kids The World Newsletter – July 2019

May 2019

What’s Inside?

Article 1: Pillow Talk
Article 2: Olivia’s Story

Article 3: WCI Give Kids the World Service Day – August 10, 2019!
Article 4:We Need Your Support!


Pillow Talk

By Lisa Anderson, Co-Chair Sponsorships

And so it began. Commercial Risk Management has taken on a huge project for Give Kids the World. At the 2018 gala, Diana McCluskey, Gala Chair, announced to everyone that there was a need for pillow covers to be sewn. She explained that each wish child staying at the village receives a pillow to keep and take home with them once they leave the village. To date, Diana had several individual volunteers helping with this huge task but many more were needed. You see, approximately 1,000 pillows are given away each month at the village. A gala attendee challenged Dena McKenzie for her company, Commercial Risk Management, to make 100 pillows prior to the next gala in 2019. Not only did Ms. McKenzie accept that challenge but she raised the number to 1,000 pillows!

I had the opportunity to speak with Dena McKenzie, Bobbie Culver and Cindy Rowe of Commercial Risk Management to find out how they have managed this huge project since accepting it in August 2018. Boy was it a fun and interesting conversation. Essentially, they have developed an assembly line with volunteers for everything from donating fabric, cutting out the pattern, ironing the cases and sewing. It has been a creative way to utilize everyone in the company to include those that may not be particularly crafty!

So here is my challenge to our readers…how will you get involved with the WCI Give Kids the World Service Day and Gala? There are endless opportunities to be a part of this great cause including volunteering at the service day, sewing pillows, sponsoring the gala, donating a silent auction item and so much more. See you August 10th!


Olivia’s Story

When a child is diagnosed with a critical illness, their family’s life is turned upside down. When they are granted a wish to visit one of the Central Florida theme parks, they stay at Give Kids The World Village. This 84-acre, non-profit resort is a child’s storybook come to life. It’s a place where kids can set aside their worries for a week to laugh, play, and have fun … kids like Olivia.

Olivia was diagnosed with a mitochondrial disease and nervous system disorder that caused her to pass out every day. She relied on a wheelchair to move around and watched as her extra-curricular activities were suddenly replaced with doctor appointments. But, at Give Kids The World, she ate ice cream, explored world-class theme parks, and had the time of her life.

“The Village is brighter than anywhere else in the world,” said Olivia. “It’s a haven for kids and families whose lives have been derailed by illness. At the Village, I was surrounded by people who didn’t see me as ‘different,’ people who didn’t treat me as ‘the sick girl.’ It helped me see a new future for myself.”

WCI Give Kids the World Service Day – August 10, 2019!

By Lisa Anderson, Co-Chair Sponsorships

A huge “Thank You!” goes out to everyone who has volunteered in past years and is ready to dig in this year! Below we have outlined the amazing work completed by the WCI volunteers in 2018.

  • 1100 volunteers
  • 187 companies represented
  • 23 service projects
  • 90 manned volunteer venues
  • 4,000 manpower hours

In just one morning of volunteer work, WCI participants and their families were able to accomplish about 2 years work for the limited number of staff at the Give Kids the World Village.

As you can imagine, organizing this number of volunteers can be a huge responsibility. Doug Clark, Director Client Services, Sedgwick Claims Management Services, Inc., has done an amazing job of handling this throughout the years. He organizes buses, groups, group leaders, projects, interviews and so much more throughout the year to make this WCI GKTW morning happen. With Doug at the helm, it has not just happened but it runs smoothly for everyone! When you see Doug out there Saturday morning, please remember to shout out some big “thanks for all you do!”.

Through the 2019 WCI Give Kids the World Service Day we are continuing to provide the volunteers to complete the projects for the village. The various projects provide maintenance, beautification, new facilities and workers for parts of the village such as the dining hall and carousel. This is all done for the children and their families staying at the village. As you may already know, the service day is set up a bit differently this year. Volunteers are able to visit the registration page and select a specific project for which to be involved. As of July 8th, there were already 766 volunteers. Grab your friends, co-workers and families to pick your project. There
is something for everyone!

Sign up here

See you Saturday, August 10th!


We Need Your Support!

By Lisa Anderson, Co-Chair Sponsorships

Each and every year of the WCI GKTW gala we have been able to raise more funds from the prior year. We want to continue this tradition in 2019 so we need you and your company to sponsor the GKTW gala in order to raise funds for the village. Please join these companies in sponsoring the Give Kids the World Village. It is simple… pick a level, click here and make your payment.