I have a confession; I love talking Disney to people I have never met. I am a Give Kids The World (GKTW) volunteer Angel and talking Disney at the Village is extremely rewarding. GKTW is where families stay for their wish trip. More than 70% of children with life-threatening illnesses have their wish granted to vacation in Orlando and visit the theme parks.
It is tough waking up at 5:00 AM but knowing I am headed to do something I love is worth it. One of my favorite shifts is in the Gingerbread House (GBH) for breakfast.
|Gingerbread for breakfast|
It is a fact that eating a good breakfast is an important way to start the day; and the guests who dine at the GBH are very important indeed. Evidence can be found that these are special guests. This week I made a new little friend whose singular objective was to pile whipped cream and rainbow colored sprinkles over his waffle until it covered his plate. He is a crusader and challenged himself to mound the treats as high as he could without spilling. His smile lit the entire restaurant. Did we let him start his day like that? Absolutely!
|DisneyGal Lori and Iris Lee Angels in action|
When you volunteer in the GBH you have the ability to welcome these guests, making it the start to the very best day possible. This Wednesday I was a tray carrier, and followed guests to their tables, made sure they had everything they needed and cleaned up when they were finished. They will only get one Wednesday at GKTW so they need to be greeted with a smile.
The Gingerbread House Restaurant serves breakfast and dinner 365 days a year to visiting Wish families. Each year over 390,000 eggs, 218,400 slices of bacon, 4,000 pounds of pancake flour and 140,400 sausage links are served and that’s just for breakfast! This week I served over 400 guests a delicious, hot breakfast.
When you enter the restaurant you know it is a one of a kind. The word cute doesn’t come close to describing it. From the moment you arrive you will see a colorful dining hall where thousands of dolls, trucks and stuffed animals line ceiling-high shelves. These treasures were gifts from Wish families.
The child-sized tables in the Gingerbread House Restaurant feature over 27,000 peppermint candies that were all placed by hand. If you get a chance to go please look for the flag behind the serving line on the left hand side. It was created out of soda pop tops by soldiers in Afghanistan in honor of GKTW!
When Disney fans make reference to Beverly they chuckle about drinking an Italian soda with a ferocious aftertaste. I think of Beverly the GKTW Angel decked out in a Minnie Mouse hat and apron spending her golden years bussing tables at GBH. Angels come from all over the world to make a cost free breakfast for families staying at the village possible.
|Joe joins us for a photo at the end of our shift|
I am making a difference in the lives of children battling life-threatening illnesses. Through conversations I get the opportunity to learn about what they are looking forward to doing that day. I am also offering them tips and suggestions before they head out to the Disney Parks. I speak with kids, parents, and grandparents. During breakfast I watch as they talk with each other. They have excitement for the day ahead and say “cherrio” to new friends as they journey back home.
To share my love of Disney and my commitment to GKTW I will gladly start my day early in the morning. Making sure there is a good breakfast ready when they roll in.