Giving back to your community just feels right. It’s positive, it helps others, and it makes you feel good!
Marilyn Allen spends six days a week giving sick children the vacation of their dreams, but don’t tell her that.
“I don’t see sick kids,” said Marilyn. “These children are so joyful and happy. What I see is kids who are smiling. I don’t see a terminal illness, I see happy kids just being kids.”
Marilyn volunteers at Give Kids the World, a theme park in Florida dedicated to giving children fighting for their lives and their families a much-deserved vacation free of charge. She is willing to help the park in any way she can but especially enjoys taking part in the Friday night parties which include crafts and treasure hunts for the kids. She says she is proud to do any little thing that makes a visitor’s stay more memorable and fun.
Marilyn moved to the area after retiring from her job at the Mayo Clinic. Not one to sit still, she had intended to volunteer at Disney World, but a chance conversation with friends at a bingo night changed the course of her volunteerism. She began volunteering with Give Kids the World a decade ago and has never looked back.
“Like most people I have had a few downfalls, but my life has been largely positive,” said Marilyn. “Giving back to your community just feels right. It’s positive, it helps others, and it makes you feel good!”
Marilyn is also a mother to four and grandmother to nine! She gladly volunteers most of her time to Give Kids the World, but also enjoys bingo, eating out, and sewing. Her daughter Kristin Finch will be joining her on the cruise.