Give Kids the World Village has opened registration for its fourth-annual Challenge for Hope 5K fun run. The 5K race had previously given people a rare opportunity to run (or stroll) through the whimsical village where children with critical illnesses stay when they have a wish to visit any of Central Florida’s world-class attractions. However, because the Village closed in March due to COVID-19, the 2020 Challenge for Hope has shifted to an entirely virtual event.
“The safety of our wish families, supporters, staff and volunteers is always our top priority, so this year our Challenge for Hope fundraiser will be completely virtual,” said Pamela Landwirth, president and CEO of Give Kids the World. “We’re thrilled that with this change our supporters around the world will have the chance to participate, bringing the spirit of Give Kids the World to wherever they are.”
Participants can register for $39, and will receive all materials needed to tackle the Challenge. Next, complete a 5K any way possible — walk, run, roll, cycle, skate, skip, swim, you name it — anywhere in the world to earn a special medal featuring the art of a wish child. Virtual participants can also earn prizes like running socks and t-shirts by completing fundraising challenges.
Even though Give Kids the World is closed indefinitely until wish families can return, fundraising is as important as ever to maintain the facilities and grounds. Previous editions of the Challenge for Hope have raised nearly $400,000 for the Village.
“While our resort is temporarily closed, more than 700 children each month wait for their life-changing wish. By participating, you’ll join a community of supporters who will help us emerge from these challenging times and resume fulfilling these wishes as soon as possible,” said Landwirth.
Plus, being a “virtual runner” is fun, and allows you to connect with the positive spirit of Give Kids the World no matter where you may live. My daughter and I were virtual runners for a previous event and dedicated our training to raise money for Give Kids the World. It was a fabulous way for us to bond with each other as well as connect with something greater than ourselves; something that’s needed during this global pandemic now more than ever.