Several years back, I kept on hearing about this meetup of Disney fans in Indianapolis – the Indy Disney Meet. For a number of years, I tried to make plans to go down and see what it was all about. Several years in a row, my attempts failed. One year though, while my daughter was going to school in Indy, one of my trips down coincided with the date of the meet. Virginia and I took some time out to go and see what it was all about. To be honest, we were a little nervous about going because, quite simply, we had no idea what it was about or what it was going to be like.
Then we heard about the main reason for the meet – to raise money for Give Kids The World Village. And the more that we learned about the cause, the more it caused me to want to be a part of the effort.
Shortly after that, I got into podcasting with the show and Danny and I decided that we were going to try to do our part. We did a marathon show, and we raised a little bit of money for the Village. We’ve done that for the past few years and we were so honored to join other Disney fans in coordinating such support.
This past September, Danny and I got a chance to see the village first hand and to hear many of the stories of how the lives of kids and families alike are impacted by this wonderful place. It really caused me to reflect on stories that I’ve heard first hand from families that were granted wishes to come to the Village, as otherwise, they would never have been able to give their family such a vacation – a break from reality that is most likely way different from my own.
And I am going to be honest… It made me want to do more for GKTW. Not just from a fundraising perspective, but also from an awareness perspective. Because I am sure that like others, it is probably a well known secret unless you know someone that has been touched by this place. For me – it was the Indy Disney Meet. That was my gateway into knowing. And we, as an organization – a group of Disney fans – want to help be a growing catalyst to having others come to know the Village.
This year, we raised over $3600 for Give Kids The World Village through our different efforts. We had a great time doing a 13+ hour live marathon show and even raffled off a Disney-inspired canvas print. We are really thankful for those that contributed to those efforts and they helped us raise the bar for next year.
However, the story does not end there.
A few weeks back, Jessica (one of our admins) and Kris (or local communications director) saw that the 5K Challenge for Hope was coming up. This is a great fundraising event for the Village where those that participate get to do a 5K through the streets of the Village. And while Kris is the only one local to the Village, Jess and I decided that we were going to do the event virtually.
So this past Saturday, Jessica and I did something a bit different. We live streamed each other doing a 5k, Jess enjoyed a nice, crisp Wisconsin day while I decided that the treadmill would be my friend. And while I know it was one of the worst-sounding live streams that we ever did, (like seriously…. its hard to watch, I will admit.) we both did a 5k in front of anyone watching online demonstrating that no matter where you are, you can participate, raise awareness, and raise some additional funds for a great cause. (And some saw me really huff and puff during some stupid fast sprints as well. (What was I thinking??) ) For Jessica, being a mega-marathoner, she didn’t break a sweat. (Though her husband did hit her with a few snowballs.) For me, it was a stretch as, lets face it, I am not in shape. Though, I felt great afterward even if it a bit sore later in the day.
The great part is that we were able to raise an additional $800 for Give Kids The World Village bringing our annual total to over $4400. And I do want to give a big shout out to you – those that contributed to the cause.
So far, that is…. Because the year is not over. (Could that be some foreshadowing?)
I bring this up to you, our listening and viewing audience because of this reason – to raise awareness for this great organization that brings hope, laughs, and magic into the lives of children and families that really need those things in their lives. You may not know of the Village until now, and for that we invite you to visit their website to learn more about what they do and how they do it as well as how you can help. Every little bit helps, be it a donation or even a volunteer opportunity. They would love to hear from you.
Thank you for your time in reading this post. And thank you for always being the greatest!
With the utmost sincerity,