Orlando’s famous Walt Disney World Resort not only helps draw millions of visitors to Florida each year, it supports those in need in the community, too.
Last year, the theme park and 75,000 or so Cast Members donated a record $37.9million in cash and in-kind donations to help deserving children and families.
Nancy Gidusko, Director of Corporate Citizenship says, “Here at Walt Disney World Resort, our Cast Members are honored to give back to the community in a variety of ways – from supporting our schools to grants for local nonprofits to the countless hours our VoluntEARS devote to the causes close to their hearts.”
Garrett Kenny, Chief Executive Officer of Central Florida developer and agent, the Feltrim Group, praises Disney for giving back to locals who are in need.
“Disney makes a major difference to improving the quality of life in Central Florida through its donations to those in need and the local community is grateful for its generous support.
“Walt Disney World Orlando provides fun and laughter for visitors and cheers the lives of local residents who need help and support, as well as jobs of course.” The Feltrim Group is launching five new projects in 2015 in the region and markets properties in Davenport, Four Corners, ChampionsGate, Reunion, Kissimmee, Haines City and other areas.
Disney gave $3.8million in Disney Grants, sponsorships, event support and other contributions to 87 Central Florida organisations, including five school districts. The donations helped promote the arts, economic development and basic health and wellness needs.
It is estimated that in 2015, more than 85,460 children throughout Orange, Osceola, Seminole, Lake and Polk counties will benefit from Disney Grants donations.
Disney VoluntEARS have also given thousands of hours to various local organisations and projects, including millions of school supplies for local students and serving more than 9,000 meals to the homeless.
In return, Disney also gave more than $1million to hundreds of Central Florida nonprofits through the company’s EARS to You grant program, which recognises VoluntEAR service with a contribution of up to $2,000 to an eligible charity chosen by the volunteer Cast Member.
Top EARS to You grant recipients in 2014 include Give Kids the World, the Pet Alliance of Central Florida (formerly known as SPCA of Central Florida), A Gift for Teaching and Central Florida Community Arts. In addition, each year, a VoluntEAR of the Year and VoluntEAR Team of the Year receive $2,500 for the charity of their choice.
Other Disney contributions in 2014 include more than 720,000 pounds of prepared, un-served food collected and distributed to local food banks through the Disney Harvest program.
Walt Disney World Resort also continued to help meet the needs of nonprofit organizations with more than $14million in in-kind donations, including clothing, industrial equipment, home and office furniture, and personal hygiene items.