Making Wishes Come True at Give Kids The World Village
By Sarah Ford on September 2, 2015
Give Kids The World Village (GKTW) is a 70-acre, non-profit, storybook resort in Central Florida that provides unforgettable, cost-free vacations to children with life-threatening illnesses and their families. Their goal is to provide the happiness that inspires hope to these precious children along with the opportunity to create family memories that will last a lifetime. Since 1986, with the help of many generous individuals, corporations and partnering wish-granting organizations, Give Kids The World has welcomed more than 127,000 families from all 50 states and over 74 countries.
One of the people behind this important work is Monai Rooney, Give Kids The World Village, Entertainment Assistant Manager. In this blog post, we learn how Monai got involved with GKTW Village and how she's making an impact through her role.
Q&A With Monai Rooney:
What attracted you to this job & particular cause?
Before I became employed with Give Kids The World Village, I volunteered within the organization. It was then I fell in love with the mission to serve our families. I’ll never be able to truly understand what it means to provide for a child with a life-threatening illness, however, while they are with us, it is my job to ensure our families have the vacation of a lifetime.
How are you making an impact through your work?
The Entertainment department is responsible for ensuring that our wish families' experience at the Village is fun! We provide our families with characters, animal interactions, magical venues to explore, and daily themed parties such as CANDY LAND and Winter Wonderland. In addition, when a wish child has a specific request like swimming with a mermaid, rescuing a princess for their birthday, or crowning them royalty for a day, with the help of our volunteers and partners, we are able to make their dreams become a reality.
What advice would you give to anyone with a similar position, or to someone interested in working for a nonprofit like yours?
We all work, but having meaning behind what you do makes even your “worst” day incomparable to other people’s best day. I have a favorite quote by Zoey Sayward: “Don’t wait for the perfect moment, take the moment and make it perfect.” I strive for perfection daily to meet the needs and wants of our families.
What excites you most about your organization’s work right now?
Currently we are in the midst of a large expansion, adding more villas, an indoor entertainment facility, and increasing our space for food service and dining. It’s a bittersweet feeling because while the need for our organization still exists, we have the opportunity to imagine, create, and entertain our precious families, so we continue to strive for the perfect guest experience.
Our thanks to Monai Rooney for sharing her time and expertise with us! To learn more about the impact Monai’s organization is making, click here to visit their website and connect with them on Facebook, Twitter @GKTWvillage, and on YouTube.
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