Apologies again for the lack of communication here at In the Queue over the past couple weeks. I'm still feeling some IAAPA Attractions Expo-related jetlag, I think. It's crazy to think the event our association plans and works so hard for has been over for more than two weeks already!
It always seems like there should be a post-show cloud of relaxing goodness, but that's never actually the case because as soon as I get back, Amanda (my editor) and I have to get all the materials together for the January issue of FUNWORLD. In fact, that issue is going out the door tonight, but I'm taking a few minutes away while Amanda gives everything one last once-over. I'll update here when the issue hits the mail.
In the meantime, though, here's a piece of holiday cheer from my friend Pam Landwirth at Give Kids The World. She forwarded us this letter from one of the Village's recent visitors, and I thought you might like to see it. IAAPA members raised $110,000 for GKTW through various efforts at the Expo, and here's absolute proof that money is going toward a tremendous cause. Visiting the Village in person and seeing the new playground and villas that have gone up recently was one of the highlights of my week, for sure.
To all the staff and Volunteers at Give Kids The World Village:
Thank you very much for your hospitality during our stay. We can't express enough how grateful we are. This was a once-in-a-lifetime experience. We have a hard time describing the Village because it is sooo incredible. From the big picture to the smallest details, you have thought of everything. We feel sooo fortunate to have been given this amazing vacation.
The people who created the Village and the people who run it now know exactly what a "special needs family" truly needs. We were almost feeling guilty of having too much fun! Our whole family felt special and "catered to," but the best part was seeing the kindness, patience, and care given to Jesse. People (staff & volunteers) said hello to Jesse, talked to him, gave him the time he needs to respond, made him feel recognized in the world. As he gets older, less people acknowledge him, which breaks our hearts. You helped us forget that for an entire week. God gave us such a wonderful blessing to experience the GKTW Village. You are all selfless individuals, and together you help share your gifts with families in need of a boost of love and joy.
Jesse is doing amazing things after our trip! He is standing by himself for long periods of time, taking steps unassisted, babbling new sounds, and smiling and laughing more. I feel you have jump-started the miracle we've been praying for. Thank you.