We have been so busy the past two days and have quite a bit to share with you all. After our Disney trip Wednesday, we were able to sleep in and we didn’t have to work a volunteer shift until 6 pm Thursday night. Alex worked the welcome hut letting families into the village, Alyssa & John were pool attendants handing out towels, and the rest of the crew worked Winter Wonderland. At Winter Wonderland there were snow cones and sugar cookies to decorate. The children at Give Kids The World were even able to visit “Santa” and pick out a present for “Christmas”. It was a very special night and a great experience for the kids to be able to enjoy a form of Christmas without the concern of any medical problems.
Friday our volunteer shift began bright and early at 7 am. Some of us worked the Gingerbread…
We did it. We somehow managed to visit all 4 Disney parks in ONE day. We were the first ones into Animal Kingdom at 7:30 am and the last ones to leave Magic Kingdom at 1:00 am. Rachel almost knee-d a kid in the face because she was so excited, Kelly almost fell out of Space Mountain, and Logan cried on Mt. Everest. The boys were able to eat lunch in “Germany” at Epcot and spent 24$ on the biggest buffet of their lives. We bonded over long lines and people watching .. We even managed to catch a little bit of the lights parade and fireworks in front of Cinderella’s castle. The night ended with all 10 of us sharing a turkey leg and running into a fellow Auburn student working in Disney who made us buttons!
So we finally got to sleep in, HALLELUJAH! Our volunteer shift today didn’t start until 6 pm, so we spent the morning and afternoon just hanging out together. We participated in taco tuesday and made a great dinner for ourselves. Some of us read, some of us watched The Bachelor, and some of us went on a run. Once we got to the village our job today was to work at the gingerbread house.
The gingerbread house is where they serve the children and their families breakfast, lunch, and dinner. We were in charge of the dinner shift tonight. Some of us were greeters at the door, some of us were busing tables, and some of us were serving food.
Surrounding the ceiling of the gingerbread house are hundreds of stuffed animals. Families who visit Give Kids The World can choose to leave one of their stuffed animals for us…
“We make a living by what we get but we make a life by what we give.” – Winston Churchill
Update from last night: we went to Downtown Disney and ate at Captain Jacks. It was all fun and games until Rachel told the waiter it was Alyssa’s birthday when it actually wasn’t. The waiter delivered a handwritten note and then the whole restaurant clapped and sang happy birthday. Needless to say, Alyssa left feeling a little guilty ; ) A few of us even mustered up the courage to try mussels (thanks John!).
After dinner, we walked around a little bit and went to the CANDY CAULDRON where we stuffed our faces with cookies and chocolate covered strawberries. Here’s proof:
After the candy store, we finally headed home. After playing a couple of games, we attempted to go to sleep but the boys decided to make bacon at 2:30…
Well after a delay of an hour, a stop at the friendly post office, five bathroom breaks, and a Wendy’s with an aquarium, we made it! It took us about 9 hours and we walked into our house for the week and John’s precious Mom surprised us with a home-cooked meal of ham, roast beef, mashed potatoes, and corn casserole (if you are reading this Mrs. Porter, thank you so much!).
We made a Walmart run at about midnight (so that was fun), and managed to buy all of our groceries for the week under budget–we threw in some fanny packs too.
Today a group of us made the drive to Cocoa Beach and spent the day sun-tanning/burning. Tonight our plan is to go to Downtown Disney and we have reservations at Captain Jacks.
Our first round of shifts for Give Kids The World start tomorrow, and we could not…
Today is officially the day that we leave for Give Kids The World! Starting at 9am, we will be making the 7 hour trek to Kissimmee, Fl and we are so excited to begin this journey and share our experiences with each of you. Stay tuned for our traveling trip update, I’m sure we will get lost along the way, or John will make us take a pit stop at an entirely random place.
For now, I’ll leave you all with this picture to get you pumped for what’s to come!
Position: Spring Break Site Leader for Children with Terminal Illnesses in Kissimmee, Florida
Class of 2014
Hometown: Eustis, FL
Major: Electrical Engineering
Pen or Pencil: Pencil, Black Dixon Ticonderoga, all the way
Why did you choose your trip issue?
I have always had a passion for children. Combine that with a desire to help those with chronic, life-threatening diseases and you arrive at Give Kids the World. Even if you do not particularly have a passion for children, it is hard not to become overwhelmed by what GKTW does and how wide of an impact it has.
What are you most looking forward to on your trip?
Seeing smiles on children that likely do not laugh that often. One of the saddest things I have ever witnessed is the loss of innocence in a child. I hope that, through our efforts in Kissimmee, our group might be able to restore that innocence, even if for only a week.
What made you do ASB in the first place?
I signed up for ASB with the desire of finding something better to do with my spring break than obtaining skin cancer while sitting on a pile of sand. Little did I know what my trip would turn out to be far more enjoyable, as well as beneficial to myself as a person, than any vacation I could have taken.
What trips have you participated in the past?
Community Development Spring 2012 in Costa Rica
What is your favorite ASB memory?
During one of my final nights in Costa Rica, my group participated in a ‘pow-wows’ session, an activity in which every member shares the highest and lowest points of his or her day. Seeing the impact that the trip was having on my fellow participants, let alone the community, was a very emotional and rewarding experience and cemented in me a passion for service.
What is one thing you learned on an ASB trip?
No matter your background, skill set, physical strength, etc., you can make a difference to someone, somewhere. It is only a matter of finding out where and how, something ASB is quite good at help students do.
How has ASB impacted your college career? Has ASB changed your life trajectory?
ASB has caused me to become more involved with other community service groups and activities on and around campus. I certainly plan on making service a more permanent part of my life.