Over the last few weeks, approximately 1,700 individual Walt Disney World Resort Cast Members raised more than $47,000 for the American Red Cross Haiti Relief and Development Fund through direct contributions from their paychecks. Nearly a hundred Disney Cast Members gathered early this morning to show their support of the American Red Cross and give a ray of hope to the people of Haiti. Many donations came from Haitian Cast Members who work in Disney Resorts; they have found the effort especially meaningful as many been directly impacted by the tragedy in Haiti.
“I would love to be in Haiti to help out my family and friends but until I can get there, I do what I can to help from here,” said Wendy Richard, who works as a Cast Service Specialist at Disney’s All-Star Resort. “I am very grateful for this effort and the many Cast Members who contributed together to make it their own cause,” said Richard.
In recognition of the accomplishment, a team of Resorts Cast Members joined by Kevin Myers, vice president of Resort Operations for Walt Disney World Resort, presented a check to Joel Hass, Central Florida CEO of the American Red Cross, along with a gift of more than 1,700 Mickey Mouse plush dolls – one for each Cast Member who donated – for use in their disaster relief efforts involving children. With a smile, Myers noted this is just one example of the care and compassion that Disney Cast Members show the world and each other.
“To see Disney Cast Members giving of themselves to our efforts is just wonderful,” said Joel Hass, Central Florida CEO of the American Red Cross. “This money will go to use right away in helping us in Haiti take care of victims with food, clothing, whatever they need – their immediate humanitarian needs.”
Offering to help with the American Red Cross efforts is just one of many ways that Disney Cast Members and The Walt Disney Company are extending support to the people of Haiti. The Walt Disney Company has committed $100,000 in humanitarian aid through the Red Cross International Fund to support relief efforts and is working closely with Cast Members from Haiti to accommodate their needs. Additionally, Disney VoluntEARS have been instrumental behind-the-scenes by lending their support to the “Hope for Haiti Now” telethon and Clean the World recycling efforts in Disney Resorts.