Pfeiffer students give kids the world over winter break

give kids theworld2Over winter break, sixteen Pfeiffer students spent several days volunteering at Give Kids the World Village, a nonprofit resort that provides children with life-threatening illnesses and their families a week-long vacation free of cost.

Located in Kissimmee, Fla., Give Kids the World was founded by hotelier Henri Landwirth, a Belgian immigrant and Holocaust survivor, who developed a passion for helping ill children while operating a hotel in Orlando. He enlisted the help of other hoteliers as well as representatives of nearby theme parks to bring ill children and their families to Orlando, sometimes arranging trips within a 24-hour period. The Give the Kids the World Village, a resort to house the children involved with the program, was opened in 1989.

The University became involved with this organization in 2011 when alumna Jenny Hicks '12 encouraged Pfeiffer students and staff to explore the volunteer opportunities available.

According to sophomore Mary Lindsaye Boyd of Salisbury, N.C., a student leader on the trip, one of the most memorable activities was the New Year's Eve celebration because she was able to dance with the children, who were all having a great time with their families despite their illnesses. 

“The students demonstrated the true nature of servant leadership,” said Rev. Dana McKim, minister to the university. “They were willing to come in early, work late, work double shifts and changed assignments when asked. I am extremely proud of them.”

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