KISSIMMEE, Fla. - Many know Give Kids the World as the place where children with critical illnesses and their families get to enjoy a free week-long vacation.
Now the tables have turned as volunteers with construction companies donate their time and skills to improving the property.
The Forgrave family is visiting this week."When Jax was born we weren’t sure if he would be able to speak, eat, walk, how much his functionality would be," Brittney Forgrave said.
Now at 10 years old, Jax Forgrave is making big strides."Now we’re speaking, and now we’re walking and cognitively very much a 10-year-old," his mother said.
His family was nominated to spend a week at the Give Kids the World Village, along with tickets to the local theme parks.
While they’re here everything is about family fun."Just being together," Forgrave said. "Making memories. Just zero stress. Not worrying about work. Not worried about anything else but being together the four of us and having fun adventures together."
The village was shut down for ten months during the pandemic. They reopened in January and are operating at a limited capacity.
So until more families can return, improvement projects are underway.
A group of 35 volunteers from AGC Charities and Wharton Smith Construction teamed up to donate their skills.
"Tearing down an old wooden safety fence around this pond – it’s about 1000 linear feet of fencing and they’re building and installing new fencing," Brian Turmail of AGC Charities said. "So they’re spending the day essentially hard labor to help out Give Kids the World."
Leaders at Give Kids the World said everything the organization does for families wouldn’t be possible without the volunteers.
"They are the backbone of the village," John Flaschner of Give Kids the World said. "We couldn’t do it without them."
Officials said they hope to increase capacity by the end of the year so that more families can make happy memories.
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