'Give Kids the World' to reopen in January after closing due to pandemic

Give Kids the World, a Central Florida nonprofit dedicated to fulfilling the wishes of children with critical illnesses, will reopen next month after being closed for most of the year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

"We are beyond excited to announce that we will be reopening Give Kids The World Village beginning on January 17, 2021!" the organization tweeted on Friday.

"We are thrilled to announce that nearly 10 months from the day that we said goodbye to our last wish family in March, we will be getting back to our mission of spreading joy and creating the happiness that inspires hope for critically ill children and their families by reopening our beloved Village beginning on January 17, 2021."

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The organization, which fulfills the wishes of terminally ill children, says they have put new safety protocols in place that has made it possible for them to reopen.  

"The decision to reopen has been made with the full support of our Board and theme park partners, Walt Disney World Resort, Universal Orlando Resort and SeaWorld, and after careful consultation with the infectious disease experts at Nemours Children's Hospital – who also worked closely with us to develop our comprehensive COVID-19 safety plan."

Since March, Give Kids the World have enforced safety measures for those on property during the shutdown, including temperature taking, mandatory mask-wearing, social distancing and enhanced sanitation.

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The property is holding a holiday event, Night of a Million Lights, through January 3. The nonprofit says proceeds from the event will support their mission to provide wish vacations for critically ill children and their families.

"We are overjoyed by the opportunity to welcome families back to the Village, including the more than 6,000 children whose wishes were postponed during our closure. Funds are needed more than ever to ensure we can fulfill this unprecedented number of wish vacations."