Give Kids The World to remain closed, will lay off 171 employees, CEO says

KISSIMMEE, Fla. — Give Kids The World will remain closed for an “undetermined period of time," and will lay off 171 staff members effective June 27, officials said.

Dear Village Family, It is with a heavy heart that I must share some devastating news both for me personally and for...

Posted by Give Kids The World on Tuesday, June 9, 2020

The Give Kids The World Village -- an 84-acre nonprofit resort in Kissimmee that provides week-long vacations to families of children with critical illnesses -- closed earlier this year amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Make-A-Wish Foundation, the organization’s majority wish-granting partner, has not made any decisions as to when the currently postponed wishes will be safe to resume granting, officials said. Make-A-Wish said it hopes “to work with Give Kids the World Village to grant more life-changing wishes as soon as it is deemed safe.”

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“In addition, although the theme parks are reopening, we are uncertain as to when they will be able to welcome vulnerable guests, including our wish children,” President and CEO Pamela Landwirth announced Tuesday on Facebook.

A small team of employees will remain to ensure the Give Kids The World Village is safe and secure and to continue nurturing relationships with alumni families, volunteers, wish-granting organizations, donors and other partners, and to prepare for their eventual reopening, Landwirth wrote.

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She said that, if there is a rush wish prior to the reopening, the organization will work with the wish-granting partner to fulfill it.

“I can promise you that I will work tirelessly to find a way to reopen our beloved Village as soon as possible,” Landwirth wrote.

Adam Poulisse,

Adam Poulisse joined WFTV in November 2019.