Local charity Give Kids the World closes indefinitely and lays off staff due to coronavirus


  • Photo courtesy GKTWV/Facebook
Beloved local charity Give Kids the World in Kissimmee has announced that they are closing indefinitely, and at the end of this month laying off 171 employees, as the organization struggles with the lasting impact the coronavirus pandemic is having on their mission.

GKTWV CEO Pamela Landwirth released a statement yesterday via Facebook breaking the sad news:

Unforeseen circumstances directly related to COVID-19 have resulted in Give Kids The World having to remain closed. 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 Village, therefore, will remain closed for an undetermined period of time. Unfortunately, this means we must lay off the majority of our staff effective Saturday, June 27, 2020. 

Give Kids the World Village closed their doors initially in March amid coronavirus concerns, and given the nature of their unique work at the Village - hosting often immunocompromised children from around the country and taking them on visits to area theme parks - the decision was made to remain closed. For that matter, the Village may very well remain closed until a vaccine is widely in use, according to the Orlando Sentinel.

The nonprofit resort has operated since 1986 in tandem with the Make A Wish Foundation to make the wishes of critically ill children come true, hosting them on their expansive and fantastical 84-acre village in Kissimmee and letting them see the theme park sights.

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