This week, Disney Parks, Experiences and Products Chairman Josh D’Amaro announced that around 28,000 Disney Cast Members in the U.S. would be laid off. With the thousands of Disneyland Resort and Walt Disney World Resort employees without work (and with Disneyland still being closed), many Disney fans are wondering how they can help.
Here are some of the ways you can help support Disney Cast Members during this time.
Donate to Second Harvest Food Bank in California and Florida
Soon after the U.S. Disney Parks closed because of the pandemic, Disney made donations to local California and Florida food banks. The theme parks and resorts donated excess food that would have otherwise gone to waste, with Disney World and Disneyland being shut down. However, these food banks are still accepting donations, and the food banks are of course open to Disney Cast Members and anyone else who is being affected by these difficult times.
Donate to a Cast Member Union Food Bank
If you want to help Disneyland Resort Cast Members locally, you can donate to a Cast Member food bank started by Workers United Local 50, a union representing CMs.
Workers United Local 50 has been hosting pop-up food banks and providing “first come, first serve” food pick-up opportunities during these months when Disneyland and Disney California Adventure remain temporarily closed. All CMs have to do is show their Disneyland Resort employee ID and they can pick up food for their household. For more information on how you can help, visit their Facebook page or call their office at 714-321-5456.
The union UNITE HERE! Local 737 started a food bank months ago, and it’s still going strong. You can find out more on their official Facebook page or visit the food bank at the Union Hall on LaQuinta Drive, about one mile away from the Florida Mall.
Donate to Cast Member Pantry
Disney World Cast Member Emily Lartigue started the Cast Member Food Pantry. Months ago, Lartigue started the food pantry for Cast Members who were furloughed due to the unexpected park closures. But today, the food pantry is still going strong — and it has even expanded to California! You can find more information via Facebook or email email@example.com.
Are you or a fellow cast member you know in need of groceries during this difficult time? Cast Member Pantry makes it…
Support Cast Members’ Small Businesses
A couple of spreadsheets have been put together to help spread the word about Cast Members’ small businesses. You can check out these resources here (put together by @tiffmink) and these resources here (put together by @thethemeparkettes). We put together a gift guide full of Cast Member businesses, which you can read here.
You can also check out @smallshopcm on Instagram for more information.
View this post on Instagram
Hi there! Welcome to Small Shop CM. We started this Instagram page to help Cast Members around the country promote their small business. Whether it be an Etsy Shop, Redbubble designs, or even a Twitch Stream, we wanted to help Cast Members during these hard times of COVID-19 and even when things resume some ‘normalcy’ we still want to showcase the many talents of our Cast Members. If you have been affected by the recent lay-offs, our deepest condolences to you. We have set this up to specifically help those with a small business get off its feet, but if you don’t have a small business or side hustle, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us. We would love to hear your story and try to help you out as best we can and get you the resources you need. If you have a small business that you would love to have featured on here, please let us know by e-mailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org or DM us here and we’ll work something out. P.S. Please know that we would never ask for any free merchandise or money from you. We are just a couple of Cast Members trying to look out for one another. So don’t be afraid to reach out to us thinking we want free stuff in return, that is NOT the case. Remember WE’RE HERE FOR YOU. #smallbusiness #etsy #disney #castmembers #makingmagic #wemakethemagic #disneyland #disneylandresort #dlr #disneyinsta #disneyinstagram #disneycommunity #discoverunder5k #discoverunder10k #discoverunder20k #disneygram #disneyblog #disneystyle #stayinside #disneylife #disneycreators #wdw #redbubble #twtich #dlrcastlife #2020 #covid #quarantine #sidehustle #supportsmallbusiness
Post on Social Media
If you are not financially able to support Disney Cast Members during this time, you can share your support via social media. Since the layoffs were announced, Disney fans around the world have taken to platforms like Instagram and Twitter to share their love for Disney Cast Members and show their support for them during this time and always. Not everyone may be able to donate time or money right now, but sharing your love for Disney Cast Members — the true Disney magic makers — is a great and free way to show you care.
We will continue to update this article with more resources and ways to help Disney Cast Members as we learn more. If you know of other resources or ways to help Disneyland and Disney World employees during this time, please share them with us in the comments.