With nearly 75,000 Cast Members who call Central Florida home, the Walt Disney World Resort has a significant stake in the success of Central Florida as a community. As such they’re committed to making a difference in the community. In 2014, that commitment added up to a record $37.9 million in Disney’s cash and in-kind donations aimed at strengthening local children and families.
“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,” said Nancy Gidusko, director of corporate citizenship for Walt Disney World Resort.
The list of support Disney provides is long. Below are just a few examples:
As part of its support for Central Florida, Walt Disney World Resort donated a total of $3.8 million in grants, sponsorships, event support and other contributions through Disney Grants in the past year. The 87 local organizations, including five school districts, selected as grant recipients support children and families by promoting the arts, economic development and basic health and wellness needs. More than 85,460 children throughout Orange, Osceola, Seminole, Lake and Polk counties will benefit from Disney Grants donations in the coming year.
Adding to the Company’s community impact were more than 150,000 hours Disney VoluntEARS gave toward improving the lives of Central Floridians in the past year. Whether donating millions of school supplies to local students or serving more than 9,000 meals to the homeless, Cast Members enthusiastically supported a variety of nonprofits and community groups.
In honor of their service, Disney gave more than $1 million to hundreds of Central Florida nonprofits through the company’s EARS to You grant program. The annual grants recognize Cast Members’ VoluntEAR service with a contribution of up to $2,000 to the eligible charity of the volunteer’s choice. 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, Disney recognizes a VoluntEAR of the Year and VoluntEAR Team of the Year each year with $2,500 cash donations to 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 $14 million in in-kind donations, such as clothing, industrial equipment, home and office furniture, and personal hygiene items.