Over the recent Valentine’s Day weekend, my husband and I flew to Orlando, FL. While this was our first getaway as a couple, without our son, in 9 years, we had a very special reason for going. Plus, we had some quality time together over the most romantic day of the year. (Queue sappy music!)
Here’s a little background info before I dive into the trip. This past summer, my husband, who is a youth minister, led a mission trip to an amazing place called Give Kids the World, in Orlando, FL. GKTW allows critically ill children and their families to take a week long, cost free vacation, including lodging, tickets to the theme parks, and meals. They are affiliated with the Make a Wish program, and have a small full time staff, but rely primarily on volunteer support throughout the year. The teenagers and other adults who joined my husband on the mission trip this past summer were forever changed by their experience at the village. They helped serve meals, work at craft stations, facilitate Disney character visits, drive families in golf carts from location to location, and many other tasks. My husband’s favorite was driving a small train around the village, and seeing the smiling faces of the children as they rode.
Since they opened, more than 175,000 critically ill children and families have had their Disney dreams come true! The GKTW facility is a whimsical village on an 84 acre resort. It has 166 villa accommodations, provides meals, entertainment, and fun activities while the families are on site. The best part is that it gives these precious kids an opportunity to forget about their illness for a week, and just be kids!
As you might imagine, this is an absolutely amazing place and service that they provide. So, when my husband got word of a particular fundraiser they were putting on, called Over the Edge for Give Kids the World, he “jumped” at the opportunity….keep reading, you’ll get it!
For each participant able to raise $1000, or more, they were given the opportunity to “go over the edge” of the Hyatt Regency, the tallest building in Orlando, by rappelling down 52 stories!
He raised the money, and we went. They even treated us and the other participants to a “courage party” the night before the jump. Now, there’s no way in this world I would have been able to rappel from the top of a building, as I am absolutely terrified of heights. So, I documented the adventure safely from the ground, while sitting in a lounge chair by the pool!
It was an unforgettable experience, and we are already looking forward to next year! All together, the fundraiser brought in right at $150,000 for GKTW.
The rappel day just so happened to be on Valentine’s Day. So after the festivities, we enjoyed a night out on the town, with great food, live music, and a comedy show.