Give Kids the World was founded by Henri Landwirth in 1989.  Like the special children Give Kids The World serves, its founder, Henri Landwirth, knows all to well what it is like to give up his childhood.  Born in Antwerp, Belgium, on March 7, 1927, Henri and his family were separated and became prisoners in the Nazi death and labor camps during WWII.  Henri spent the years between the ages of 13 and 18 in camps including Auschwitz and Matthausen.  By war’s end, both of his parents had been killed, but miraculously Henri and his twin sister, Margot, survived and were reunited.  Henri worked his way to America on a freight ship, arriving in New York City with $20 in his pocket and little knowledge of the English language; soon after he was drafted to serve in the Army.  His GI benefits led to a career in the Hotel industry which led to him founding Give Kids the World.  Henri’s life and the story of Give Kids The World are chronicled in his book, “Gift of Life,” which was published in 1996.

Give Kids the World is a place like none other.  It’s a place where dreams really do come true.  Every day families are able to put their lives of fear, hopelessness, medicine, and doctor visits on hold.  They arrive for a carefree week of hope, joy, unimaginable fun… a week of granted wishes.

The Castle of Miracles is home to Elmer the Tree, the La ti Da Spa, Star Fairy, Wishing Well, and a carousel.

Every wish child at GKTW, makes a wish on a star which is then placed in its forever home on the ceiling of the Castle of Miracles

This carousel is one of a kind. It is 100% wheelchair accessible! Mamas and Daddys don’t have to figure out how to avoid the carousel because their children can’t get on. They can wheel their children right up, strap them on, and watch their eyes sparkle with joy.

 A Child’s Wonderland would not be complete without its’ very own putt putt golf course, fishing pond, playground, arcade, and movie theatre.

Each family has their own villa to call home for the week. Ours just happened to be the castle!

The Ice Cream Palace is opens early and closes late. It’s even open for breakfst!

Meals are eaten at the Gingerbread House. As you walk through the doors volunteers are waiting to help each family with whatever they need.

This day Maggie got to be a volunteer for a while after breakfast.  She can’t wait to work there when she grows up!

Each evening is filled with fun activities including Christmas in July, life size candy land game, beach parties, and lots more fun. This picture is Maggie participating in a skit with a local improv group.

Give Kids the World is truely a magical place.