700 Plantation Shutters in two days… talk about extreme!
Staff and volunteers at Window Interiors got the opportunity of a lifetime this month when we helped contribute to an Extreme Makeover of Give Kids the World Village in Kissimmee, Florida.
The Give Kids the World Village lies on 70 acres of property and serves as the ultimate fantasy vacation spot for children with life-threatening diseases. Sick children and their families stay free-of-charge for a week and experience the best that Orlando entertainment and free access to Disney parks has to offer. “Wish granting” organizations such as the Make-A-Wish Foundation often work with GKTW in providing the families with donated theme park tickets.
Window Interiors installed 700 Plantation Shutters in 90 villas throughout the resort and used a total of 290 man hours in two days to complete all the work.
Originally, the install was planned for three days and with the help of nine installers. However, due to conflicting schedules, the final roll call of volunteers accounted to only a half-dozen installers and over a period of just two days.
Eric Stapp, Operations Manager of Window Interiors, was one of the volunteers who assisted in the condensed and hectic 48-hour install. He said the planning for this project had been in the works for over six months and everyone involved had to set aside time and effort from their regular day jobs in order to contribute to the Give Kids the World project.
“All of our people have been working days, nights, and weekends just to have these two days free for the project,” Stapp said. “Everyone had to go back to their normal jobs after working these crazy hours.”
This year marks the 25th year in business for Window Interiors. Stapp said this January was the absolute busiest month the company has ever seen in its history, making the project even more challenging.Window Interiors drafted help and insight from multiple local businesses and volunteers. From working with Tom Lowenstien of Eclipse Shutters for pre-project training, facilitating with Universal Window Coverings for fabrication and on-site transportation, to reaching out to Fastenal (Longwood Branch) for donated supplies, the planning and processes involved ended up miraculously amounting to a perfect install.
General contractors from across the world, such as Poland, Russia, and the United Kingdom, came together to be a part of the contribution to underprivileged families. Window Interiors knows without the helping hands of so many volunteers, this project would not have been possible.
The Extreme Makeover of Give Kids the World will air on ABC later this year.
Give Kids the World had been searching for an updated feel to the dated villas and planned to gradually renovate a total of 140 villas over a period of 7 years. With help from Wyndham Vacation Ownership, Walt Disney World Resort, and multiple local companies, the Extreme Village Makeover became the collaborative plan to get it all done in less than a month.
We at Window Interiors are ecstatic to have been part of such a meaningful and caring project that will benefit many children and their families to come. We want to thank all of the volunteers we worked with and also those whom we met along the way for making this dream opportunity become a reality!