Disneyland Resort Cast Members Help More Than 10,000 Local Individuals Through Holiday Giving Effort
During this season of giving, more than 10,000 individuals will benefit from the contributions of food, toys, clothing and care packages that the Disneyland Resort and its Cast Members have donated to numerous nonprofit organizations throughout Orange County.
“The Disneyland Resort is focused on giving back to the community throughout the year. The holiday season makes it a particularly special time to extend our resources to those in need. Thanks to the generosity of our Cast Members, the Disneyland Resort is helping to fulfill numerous wishes in our community and for the brave men and women serving our country overseas,” said Ed Grier, president of Disneyland Resort.
DONATING TOYS AND HOSTING HOLIDAY PARTIES
Throughout the months of November and December, Disneyland Resort Cast Members have come together to give back to the community. As part of an annual tradition, Cast Members donated nearly 10,000 toys for the Toys for Tots Foundation. Most of the toys collected were brought to the annual Disney Family Holiday Party, a celebration hosted by the Resort exclusively for Cast Members and their families at Disneyland park.
“The Disneyland Resort and its Cast have been wonderful partners in collecting toys for children in Orange County,” said Maria Sabol, public information officer for the Anaheim Fire Department. “Last year, through the combined efforts of all Orange County fire agencies, the U.S. Marines and Disneyland, we met our goal of distributing approximately 300,000 toys to local families and we are certain that this year will be no different.
“Disney’s annual commitment to this toy drive is a testimony to their focus on helping the community and children in need,” added Sabol.
In addition to Toys for Tots, Disney VoluntEARS donated their time and resources to help organize and host holiday parties at Children’s Hospital of Orange County and the Blind Children’s Learning Center. Children and their families were greeted by VoluntEARS who served food, cleaned up and brought special gifts.
SUPPORTING OUR MILITARY
The holiday spirit extended itself across the miles as Cast Members assembled 2,500 care packages to send to military personnel overseas. The packages were shipped in November and included everything from beef jerky to books and disposable cameras. However, the most special component of the packages were the handwritten postcards that accompanied them. The cards were part of Operation Uplift, a program that began at Disneyland in 1995 and encourages Cast Members to send messages of thanks and support to our troops. The cards are designed by children related to Cast Members and typically feature Disney characters. The program has spread to Disney sites throughout
the country and more than 100,000 postcards have been sent to troops around the world.
ADOPTING LOCAL FAMILIES
This year, the Disneyland Resort’s Adopt-A-Family program helped to provide day-to-day necessities to nearly 700 individuals. From children to senior citizens, Cast Members adopted individuals and families and fulfilled their wish lists for items including pillows, toiletries, clothing and toys. A team of Disney VoluntEARS also adopted Walnut Manor Senior Center and hosted its holiday party, bringing gifts and providing the highlight of the party — an appearance by Mickey Mouse.
SUPPORTING THE LOCAL FOOD BANK
For Thanksgiving, Disney VoluntEARS also participated in two annual events benefiting the Orange County Food Bank. Cast Members joined more than 850 other volunteers from local Orange County businesses and organizations to package 17,881 food boxes for seniors in need. In addition, the Resort hosted its annual food drive, in which more than 3,500 lbs. of canned goods and nonperishable food items were collected.
COMMITTED TO THE COMMUNITY
The Disneyland Resort has a long history of giving back to the community, a legacy established by Walt Disney. The Resort focuses on three primary areas: children and their families, arts education and volunteerism. In 2007 alone, community outreach efforts including cash, VoluntEAR hours and in-kind donations totaled more than $12 million.