MickeyBlog Exclusive Interview with Pam Landwirth, President and CEO of Give Kids the World Village
On Tuesday evening, MickeyBlog was invited to attend a preview of Give Kids the World’s Night of a Million Lights. Give Kids the World helps to make the dreams of critically ill children come to life.
They work hand-in-hand with Make-A-Wish to ensure thousands of children and their families can visit Walt Disney World Resort at absolutely no cost to them!
Since March, the Give Kids the World Village has been closed, delaying thousands of wishes. Here at MickeyBlog, we want to help spread the word about the fantastic work Give Kids the World is doing.
More importantly, we encourage you to attend their incredible Night of a Million Lights Event- happening now through January 3rd!
You can check out my full write-up about the Night of a Million Lights event here! It’s the perfect family-friendly Holiday outing (plus there is free ice cream and hot cocoa!).
A Passionate President
As I was taking photos of one of the many decorated Villas, glittering beautifully below a pitch black night sky, I noticed a familiar-looking silhouette, standing alone, taking in the sights and sounds of the event.
As I got closer, I recognized her immediately. It was President and CEO Pamela Landwirth! She and I had a great conversation, and with her permission, I’m excited to share what she told MickeyBlog exclusively about Give Kids the World and Night of a Million Lights!
Quarantining at Give Kids the World Village
The first thing I asked Pam was a question that had been burning in the back of my mind since I heard the rumor in April: “Did you, in fact, stay here during the initial lockdown?!”
“Yes!” Pam responded with a laugh, “I actually stayed in that Villa right over there!” As she pointed to the Villa that she called home during lockdown, she reflected on some of the day-to-day tasks that had to be carried out during quarantine.
“For awhile it was just me and two security guards, and every morning I’d get up and go feed the koi fish and make the rounds.” The koi Pam mentioned received a lovely home makeover for Night of a Million Lights- they seemed to love swimming below the light of millions of sparkling lights!
Pam went on to talk a bit more about her time spent at the Village during quarantine. “People were still buying merchandise so I filled some merchandise orders. And really, all the while during quarantine we just wanted to get back open, we feel it’s a really safe environment.”
I can attest to that statement! Night of a Million Lights is completely outdoors, masks are required, and temperature screenings are required before entry. I felt extremely safe during the entire Night of a Million Lights event!
Night of a Million Lights
She went on in detail about just how thrilled she is to be able to host the public during Night of a Million Lights. “We never open the doors and say ‘come on out and look behind the curtain'”. I understand why, since Give Kids the World is usually hosting families 365 days a year, it isn’t normally feasible to host public events.
“We’ve been looking for ways to prepare so that we are ready for when we finally can welcome guests back, and one of the ways we can prepare is by spreading awareness. People are looking for reasons to have hope and to celebrate something during the Holidays, and I think what [Night of a Million Lights] does is allow guests to bring their whole family out, see the lights, and help create opportunities for families who are less fortunate.”
Pam let me in on her favorite moment from the preview event “I saw little children just sitting in front of one of the Villas taking in the lights, and it made me so happy to see kids here again.”
After all Give Kids the World Village was built to house critically ill children and their families. All proceeds from Night of a Million Lights go directly back to Give Kids the World. Their hope for Night of a Million Lights is to sell out every single night of the event so that, when the time is right, they can welcome back families.
Let’s help them reach their goal, you can purchase tickets here! Even if you won’t be in Central Florida for the Holidays, please consider donating to Give Kids the World Village here, because there is real, palpable magic alive in that Village that I hope can be shared with thousands of more Wish families in the coming year!
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