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Leaving the “Magic” to Help the Community

Friday, September 17, 2010

You’re sitting at work feeling mentally exhausted.  The phone keeps ringing and you just can’t seem to get a moment to work on what you planned on accomplishing today.  All of sudden, everything goes quiet.  No one is near your door or office cubicle.  Thank goodness….piece and quiet!  Instead of looking through those reports you realize you’re 2 weeks away from your family vacation to Disney World.  You begin to smile and begin reflecting on a week of fun and relaxation.  Finally, some time for us.  No phones or reports to deal with.  After all, you work hard and you deserve some time for yourself. 

Because we work so hard and vacation time is precious we feel like it needs to be spent on ourselves.  Why not consider taking some of our valuable vacation time and contribute it to a nearby charity during our family vacation.  A growing trend in the vacation and tourism industry is something called “Voluntourism.”  It’s a chance for vacationers to give up some of their vacation time and help the local community.  This concept is not unusual.  In fact, many charities and organizations near vacation hot spots, like Orlando, are encouraging it. 

What many Disney World vacationers don’t realize is Disney World is part of local community.  Outside the gates of the theme park giant are several opportunities to make a difference in Central Florida.  One such opportunity is heavily linked to Disney World and the other major theme parks in the area.  Give Kids the World Village of Central Florida provides children with life-threatening illnesses and their families a stress free vacation in the Orlando theme parks.  It’s a 70-acre resort located in nearby Kissimmee, FL for children and their families to enjoy.  Everything they need is readily available at this beautifully decorated and themed resort.  There are no out of pocket costs for the families.  Everything is provided free of charge including theme park tickets, food, and lodging.  Again, it’s a totally stress free experience for children and their families who find everyday life a challenge. 

Hundreds of children and their families come through Give Kids the World Village each month.  It’s mostly operated through volunteers and charitable donations.  Monetary donations are one way to contribute, but even better is volunteering your time during your Disney World vacation.  Consider taking a full or half day and spending it at Give Kids the World Village.  There are plenty of ways your entire family can help make the children and their families more comfortable during their stress free vacation. 

Signing up to volunteer at Give Kids the World is easy.  Simply visit their website at www.gktw.org and go to the “Volunteer” tab.  You’ll find all the information you need about “Voluntourism” and how to become a “Voluntourist” and give back during your trip. 

After your family has spent some time volunteering at Give Kids the World Village you’ll have a greater appreciation for life.  It puts a totally different spin on your Disney vacation.  “Voluntourism” is the best of both worlds; making a difference in the community and enjoying a family vacation at Walt Disney World.  It simply gives you a feeling inside you can’t describe.

For a closer look at Give Kids the World Village see Jenna Bush Hager’s NBC Today Show special report.  http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/26184891/vp/38466034#38466034

Next Up:  Experiencing some R&R on Disney World transportation. 

Note:  I will be at Disney World Sept. 29th – Oct. 6th.  Be sure to visit the studioscentral.com forums and my Facebook page for up to the second photos and updates during the trip. 

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About this column

Aaron DelPrince looks at the various activities you and your family can experience at Walt Disney World


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