Virtua volunteers take part in Walt Disney World Trip with hospitalized children

The local healthcare system participated in this year’s Give Kids The World, a nonprofit for children with life-threatening illnesses and their families.

In August, 48 Virtua staff members, family and friends traveled to Kissimmee, Florida for the ninth annual Give Kids The World volunteer trip. These volunteers helped children with life-threatening and terminal illnesses enjoy an incredible vacation in Walt Disney World and other Central Florida attractions. Volunteers served meals, assisted with activities and ensured each child had a tremendous time.

Virtua Child Life Manager and Haddonfield resident, Beth Van Buskirk, has participated in many of the volunteer trips to Give Kids the World.

“The Virtua volunteers have seen first-hand what a difference our team can make,” Buskirk said. “Our goal is to make the trip as special and as memorable as possible for the wish kids and their families. If that means serving them ice cream sundaes for breakfast, so be it. Their jaws drop to the floor.”

All Virtua volunteers took vacation time from work and paid for their own trips to Florida. Virtua sponsored a welcome dinner when the volunteers arrive.

Buskirk explained that volunteers often “get hooked” on their first trip and become yearly volunteers. Next year’s trip will mark the 10th anniversary of Virtua volunteers making a difference at Give Kids the World.

“It’s hard to describe Give Kids the World until you experience it first-hand,” Buskirk said. “But as one parent said to me, ‘it comes down to love.’”