Donning Santa hats and plenty of good cheer, Walt Disney World VoluntEARS today helped a squad of U.S. Marines load more than 15,000 donated toys onto a convoy of military vehicles, all with the goal of making holiday dreams come true for deserving children throughout Central Florida.
During the resort’s annual collection drive for Toys for Tots, Disney Cast Members collected items appropriate for infants and teenagers alike, ranging from learning toys and board games to arts and crafts and sports equipment. Donations from Cast Members will continue to be accepted through the end of the week, with a final tally on toys expected thereafter.
“Toys for Tots coupled with our Cast’s caring and compassionate spirit makes powerful and positive impact in our community,” said Eugene Campbell, vice president of Community Relations and Minority Business Development. “By collecting toys in partnership with the U.S. Marine Corps, we are able to brighten the holiday season for thousands of local children.”
“It’s just amazing the big hearts the Disney Cast Members have,” said First Sgt. Michael Diaz, who heads up the 2009 Central Florida Toys for Tots campaign. “As we head into the second holiday season of this difficult economy, there are even more people in need; these donations will make a big difference in the lives of thousands of kids.”
In addition to contributing toys, Disney VoluntEARS gave more than 3,000 hours toward helping the Marines register families, sort and stock shelves with collected toys and assist with toy distribution to families in need.
This year, Central Florida Toys for Tots expects to assist thousands of families from Orange, Osceola and Seminole counties in celebrating the holiday season with gifts for their children. The annual toy drive is meant to send a message of hope to youngsters by ensuring they have at least one new gift to open during the holidays. To find out more about how you can contribute, visit http://www.toysfortotscentralflorida.org/.
The Walt Disney Company’s involvement with Toys for Tots began more than 60 years ago when Walt Disney and his animators designed the original Toys for Tots logo that is still used today.
The annual toy drive is one of many charitable activities underway at Walt Disney World Resort during the “Season of Sharing” that focuses on improving the lives of local children and their families. To learn more, visit http://community.wdwpublicaffairs.com/.