Local high school graduate fundraising for sick kids

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A local high school graduate has big fundraising dreams, and she needs your help to make them a reality. Arwen Peters is running a fundraiser to raise money to send critically ill children and their families to Give Kids the World Village, a non-profit resort that provides free vacations for critically ill children and their families. Arwen has called her fundraiser Give Kids Hope.

The GKTW Village is an 89-acre “home away from home” for Make-A-Wish children visiting world-famous attractions in Orlando, Florida. It provides a much-needed break from hospitals and doctors. “For some children who are too ill to travel far from home and medical care, a visit to the Village is their Wish,” said Arwen. “There, home is always a golf cart’s ride away from the fun!”

The GKTW Village has welcomed over 188,000 families from 77 countries since 1986. The focus is on living happy moments, since ill children understand how precious time is. “Celebrating a new holiday each week, the GKTW Village travels through time to give critically ill children the chance to experience the most treasured moments in life,” Arwen explained. 

Arwen chose to raise funds for the GKTW Village because she has personal experience with it. “My family visited Give Kids the World Village almost two years ago during my brother’s Make-A-Wish trip, and it was nothing short of magical,” she explained. “At the age of 6, my little brother was diagnosed with leukemia. He collected beads over the course of three years, each representing different events throughout his treatment. For example, he received a purple bead for every blood transfusion, white for chemotherapy, etc. By the end of treatment, the beads made a 12-foot-long necklace. My goal is to make a necklace over 12 feet using beads represented by people’s donations.”

Arwen has always enjoyed helping those around her, and she has seen what long hospital stays can do to children, which is why fundraising is important to her. “You can’t erase the illness, but that doesn’t mean you can’t offer joy,” she added. 

Since GKTW Village relies solely on donations, Arwen is very hopeful for generous community support. For those who can’t donate, she suggests sharing the fundraiser with someone who may be able to help.

Arwen’s fundraising page can be found at give.gktw.org/GiveKidsHope. Readers can also find more information and updates on Instagram (@givekids.hope) and Facebook (Give Kids Hope). More information about Give Kids the World Village and their mission can also be found on their website atgktw.org.

Arwen adds: “The GKTW Village is the most hope-filled place you could imagine, and even before we left, I felt the need to do something to help it continue flourishing.”

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