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Carousel-Give-Kids-The-World-Village Although the GKTW Village is closed, the need for support continues. (Photo: P.Harman, PropertyCasualty360)

Having to postpone the Annual Workers’ Compensation Conference after more than 30 years of sponsorship by the Workers’ Compensation Institute (WCI) was traumatic enough. But dealing with the closure of Give Kids the World (GKTW) because of the pandemic was quite another experience. GKTW was understandably forced to close its doors for fear of possibly exposing the most vulnerable children with life-threatening illnesses to the COVID-19 virus. The personal experience of the workers’ compensation community in not being able to interact with the children and their families was an extreme disappointment for all. In retrospect, however, something really special resulted in our not being able to support GKTW in a way that we were accustomed to doing, something that no one expected.

Accompanying the COVID-19 pandemic was the resulting downturn in the economy. Many in the workers’ compensation community lost their jobs, with everyone in some way suffering financially during these trying times. When WCI postponed the annual educational conference, we also decided that we simply could not ask those who had supported GKTW in the past with their donations to do so this year. As a substitute for our support activities, we decided to create a “virtual silent auction” (which we had never done), coinciding with the dates of the postponed educational conference, suspecting that our efforts would create only marginal results as compared to previous years. Opportunities for providing continued support for GKTW were created in the form of “at home” projects as a substitute for the actual workdays spent at the GKTW campus.

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