The Walt Disney World resort made a surprise donation of $500,000 to the Homeless Impact Fund to help share the joy of the holiday season and care for families in need. The Fund, which represents the largest commitment to housing for the homeless in Central Florida’s history, is designed to end chronic and family homelessness.
“We are touched and inspired by this incredible contribution from Walt Disney World Resort to help bring housing, comprehensive services and hope to those without a home this holiday season,” said Mark Brewer, president and CEO of the Central Florida Foundation, which runs The Fund. “With the support of community partners like Disney, we are moving ever closer to a viable, lasting solution to homelessness in Central Florida.”
The Fund tackles the daunting challenge of chronic and family homelessness through the collaboration of local governments, private foundations, corporations and individuals. Aimed specifically at family homelessness, Disney’s donation supports the Fund’s holistic approach to addressing the variety of factors homeless families face, including lack of stable housing, health concerns, food and clothing shortage and unemployment.
The contribution was announced Sunday by George A. Kalogridis, president of Walt Disney World Resort, as part of a special performance of the Candlelight Processional at Epcot attended by community leaders.
“Every child needs a safe and stable environment in which to learn and grow,” said Kalogridis. “By coming together as a community in support of the Fund, we connect Central Florida families with resources that help their children thrive.”
As a company with 74,000 Disney Cast Members who live and work in Central Florida, Walt Disney World Resort is committed to investing in its local community. In the past year, Walt Disney World Resort has donated $44 million in cash and in-kind support to local nonprofit organizations.