There will be 35,000 local kids whose Christmas holiday is a little brighter this year because Disney World and its cast members united to donate to the annual U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots program. The brand new toys, games, books and plush dolls are meant to help spread the holiday spirit with kids in Orange and Seminole counties and are part of efforts by Walt Disney World Resort to make a positive impact on local children.
“With these gifts, our Cast Members want to send a message of hope to youngsters by ensuring they have at least one new present to open during the holidays,” said Nancy Gidusko, director of community relations for Walt Disney World Resort.
Besides adding “Toys for Tots” to their shopping lists, Disney VoluntEARS also donated more than 7,000 hours of their time to helping the Marines with everything from registering families to sorting and packing the toys. They will also assist with toy distribution the week of Dec. 14-19.
This year the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve registered more than 13,000 families and nearly 30,000 children.
“These are families in need who are counting on the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve this holiday season,” said Gunnery Sargent Christopher Hoagland. “We are grateful not only for the donations that came from Disney but also for the volunteers who help us do what we do every year.”
Disney has supported the annual toy drive for more than 60 years, dating back to when Walt Disney himself helped design the original Toys for Tots logo that is still used today.
Toys for Tots is one of many charitable activities currently under way at Walt Disney World Resort to benefit children and families during the holiday season and beyond.