Give Kids the World, an organization that provides deserving families of children with critical illnesses the ability to visit the Central Florida theme parks free of charge through the partnership of wish-granting organizations, has revealed it will remain closed for an “undetermined period of time” amid the current pandemic and will be laying off the majority of its staff.
The announcement comes from President and CEO, Pamela Landwirth in a post on the organization’s official Facebook page as Walt Disney World prepares for reopening next month.
Dear Village Family, It is with a heavy heart that I must share some devastating news both for me personally and for…
In the post, Landwirt shares how the pandemic harshly affected the organization’s ability to operate, writing:
“Unforeseen circumstances directly related to COVID-19 have resulted in Give Kids The World having to remain closed. The Make-A-Wish Foundation, our majority wish-granting partner, unexpectedly notified us that due to COVID-19, it would not be scheduling any wishes that involve travel or large groups, until a vaccine is in wide use. In addition, although the theme parks are reopening, we are uncertain as to when they will be able to welcome vulnerable guests, including our wish children.
The post goes on to share how The Village will remain closed for an “undetermined period of time” and as of June 27, the organization must lay off the majority of its staff which is estimated to be about 86% of its employees.
Landwirth shared that a small team will remain to ensure the safety and security of the Village and to nurture their relationships with alumni families, volunteers, wish granting organizations, donors, and other partners as they prepare for an eventual reopening.
The post also states that if there is a rush wish prior to the organization’s reopening they will work with their wish granting partners to fulfill it.
Landwirth ended the post with a message of hope, writing:
“I can promise you that I will work tirelessly to find a way to reopen our beloved Village as soon as possible. The health and well-being of our precious wish children is our number one priority as well as the priority of our theme park and wish granting partners.”
According to the organization’s official Facebook page, since 1986 Give Kids the World has been able to grant the dreams of 167,000 children with critical illnesses and their families at the organization‘s 84-acre nonprofit resort in Central Florida.