The Walt Disney Company does a lot of good… but much of it is done close to home. Central Florida has benefitted from numerous donations over the last fifty years to organizations like Elevate Orlando, Give Kids the World, and more. What makes this most recent donation special is that it caps off Disney’s last 50-year span of donations with a new $3 million grant.
Today is Disney World’s 50th anniversary, celebrating over the next 18 months with merchandise, fanfare, nighttime spectaculars, and more. The celebration is more than just Lake Buena Vista. The Central Florida area benefits from Disney’s presence and commerce, but also gives it massive support in a sort of symbiotic relationship.
Over the past several years, Walt Disney World Resort has provided hundreds of millions of dollars to nonprofit organization that address basic community needs and are valued by Cast Members who also live, attend school, raise families and thrive in the place we call home, per an official statement from a Disney spokesperson.
Cast Members live and play here, and families live and breathe Disney every day! Disney is proud of its community and has been giving back to them in the past, present and plans to continue in the future. Disney shares today that the company is now granting “a total of $3 million to six amazing nonprofit organizations in Central Florida, helping to support important causes and inspire a world of difference for children and families in our community.”
Disney has been donating grants and partnering with Give Kids The World Village, Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Florida, Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida, Heart of Florida United Way, Hope Partnership, and ELEVATE Orlando. Bringing solutions to important matters throughout the Central Florida region and empowering individuals to create a brighter (and maybe more magical) tomorrow.
The Disney Parks YouTube Page marks these amazing donation milestones with a video and comments from those who appreciate it most. The video is captioned,
“In celebration of our 50th anniversary, Disney is granting a total of $3 million to six amazing nonprofit organizations in Central Florida, helping to support important causes and inspire a world of difference for children and families in our community. 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. 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.”
What exactly does Disney do for each of these nonprofit organizations in Central Florida? Let’s take a dive into what Disney tells us today on the Disney Parks Blog about these grant programs and donations:
- As an establishing partner for this organization since 1986, Give Kids The World Village is an integral part of our Wish Granting efforts at Walt Disney World Resort. During a transformative week at Give Kids The World Village, Wish families are able to laugh, play and create priceless memories together away from hospital visits and medical procedures, helping children build the physical and emotional strength needed to fight a critical illness. Disney VoluntEARS are a mainstay of Give Kids The World Village, coordinating meals, serving ice cream and assisting families staying at the resort.
- 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 our Disney VoluntEARS.
- Driven to close the gap of unmet needs in Central Florida, 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
Tell us your thoughts on these amazing donation amounts and partnership programs. Leave us a comment below!