Walt Disney World Marks 50 Years in Central Florida with $3 Million in Grants

Walt Disney World giving grant to GKTW

This morning on ABC’s “Good Morning America,” Bob Chapek, CEO of The Walt Disney Company, announced that to mark Walt Disney World’s 50th Anniversary in Central Florida, $3 million in Disney grants would be donated to six area nonprofit organizations.

“Our Central Florida family has played such an important role for us since Walt Disney World Resort opened in 1971. It’s where our cast members live, go to school, raise their families and thrive.” said Rena Langley, Senior VP, Walt Disney World Communications and Public Affairs. “For decades, we have remained inspired by the local nonprofits and magic makers in our community who make a difference for so many – giving back to these organizations is a proud tradition we are committed to continuing into the future.”

Those worthy organizations who were chosen to receive the grants are:

Give Kids The World Village

Give Kids The World Village is an 89-acre nonprofit resort in Kissimmee, Florida that provides critically ill children and their families with week-long wish vacations at no cost. It’s an amazing nonprofit, and Disney VoluntEARS are a mainstay of Give Kids The World Village, helping to coordinating meals, serving ice cream, and assisting families staying at the resort.

Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida

Another favorite nonprofit of mine, Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida helps to create hope and nourish lives through a powerful hunger relief network. The Disney Harvest Program supports Second Harvest’s great work in serving more than 40 Orlando-area nonprofits, and for years, Disney VoluntEARS have helped to sort and pack food delivered across the region, and can even be seen throughout the mural of the iconic wall of Disney characters in Second Harvest’s warehouse.

Walt Disney World giving grant to Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida

Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Florida

A key partner in supporting youth development, Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Florida empowers children with the confidence they need to stay out of trouble, make good decisions, and chart a course toward a healthy and productive life through after-school activities, including events and programs with Disney VoluntEARS.


ELEVATE Orlando works to build life-changing relationships with urban youth, providing students with opportunities such as job shadowing, personal introductions, and in-class speakers’ series which has been a resoundingly popular Disney VoluntEARS event for employees across The Walt Disney Company.

Heart of Florida United Way

As a longstanding partner of Walt Disney World Resort, Heart of Florida United Way improves the lives of individuals and families, building strong communities by uniting people and organizations to create measurable results and a lasting impact since 1939. I know many people who have been helped by this nonprofit, especially during the pandemic.

Hope Partnership

Supporting families experiencing homelessness and poverty in Osceola County, Hope Partnership provides a pathway to employment, healthcare, and housing through its Hope Works Program, connecting individuals with organizations like Disney VoluntEARS for skills-based support.

Having worked with most of these organizations, I can tell you a $500,000 share of the grants will definitely enable each of them to help so many people in Central Florida! Thank you Walt Disney World!!

Here is a wonderful video showing the excitement of Walt Disney World delivering the news to these nonprofits: