For the fifth year, Disney VoluntEARS had “fuh-un” at the annual Orange County CANstruction event, where they spent nearly six hours “can-structing” our favorite tow truck, Mater, from 5,700 cans of food donated by the Disneyland Resort.
The event, benefiting the Orange County Food Bank, takes place every September in conjunction with the Festival of Children at South Coast Plaza in Costa Mesa, Calif., where structures made entirely out of canned foods are put on display.
Disney VoluntEARS created Mater’s main structure from cans of kidney beans, and eyes and pupils from cans of mandarin oranges, evaporated milk, green beans and salmon. In total, more than 20 types of canned foods were used, and “dadgum,” the design won “Juror’s Favorite!”
Check out this time lapse of Mater being “can-structed.”
When Disneyland Resort cast member Adrian Garcia played basketball and capture the flag as a member of the Boys & Girls Club in Santa Ana, Calif., years ago, he never dreamed he would one day build a new playground there. Adrian, an attractions host and video producer, joined Disneyland Resort President George A. Kalogridis and 60 members of his executive team to build a new playground and garden at the club on September 10, along with members of the Disneyland Resort College Program, Boys & Girls Club volunteers and KaBOOM! organizers.
Adrian said, “I’ve lived next to this club my whole life and it makes me feel proud to be able to give back to the place that was such a big part of it.” The new playground was built in less than eight hours and will provide more than 2,000 children in Santa Ana a safe place to play.
Disney is a KaBOOM! National Partner and supports the nonprofit’s vision of a great place to play within walking distance of every child in America. The Disneyland Resort has built three playgrounds since June 2011 – two in Anaheim at Edison Park and Stoddard Park, and this one in Santa Ana. Check out the build in this video!
Here in Central Florida, back-to-school efforts are getting in gear with a little help from Disney VoluntEARS. Mickey Mouse and pals just gave a record 3.1 million supplies and 13,000 backpacks to school superintendents, who received bus loads of essentials for their students.
Orange County Superintendent Dr. Barbara Jenkins, Osceola County Superintendent Melba Luciano, Lake County Superintendent Dr. Susan Moxley, Seminole County Superintendent Walt Griffin and Polk County Superintendent Dr. Sherrie B. Nickell all were on hand to accept the donations and ring a bell celebrating the start of the upcoming school year.
On a mission to set students up for success, Walt Disney World Resort Cast Members have spent 2,300 hours the past month collecting and sorting pencils, notebooks, rulers and more – all as part of the annual Back-to-School Supply Drive. It’s one of the many ways Disney shows its support of education and children in Central Florida.
Approximately 300 volunteers + six hours = one shiny, new playground!
More than 150 Disney Cruise LineVoluntEARS joined an additional 150 volunteers from the City of Rockledge to construct a playground in Rockledge, Florida, this past weekend.
In cooperation with KaBOOM!, a national nonprofit dedicated to preserving play for children, the group labored in the heat and humidity, transforming an empty 40-by-60-foot piece of property into a children’s wonderland of slides, climbing walls and zip lines.
Crew Members from the Disney Fantasy joined in the effort, coming off of the ship in nearby Port Canaveral to roll up their sleeves while the ship was in port.
Disney is a KaBOOM! National Partner, supporting its vision of safe play places within walking distance of every child in America. Since 2011, Disney has pledged more than $3.5 million to help build playgrounds and gardens across the country with the participation of thousands of Disney VoluntEARS. By the end of the year, Disney will have helped KaBOOM! build nearly 30 playgrounds nationwide!
Although the heat was sweltering and our Disney VoluntEARS shirts got a bit “grimier” than we’ve ever seen them before, we were proud to contribute to something that will bring joy and happiness to families for many years to come.
Check out these past posts about our Disney VoluntEARS:
Hundreds of volunteers rose bright and early last Saturday, May 12, to help build a new playground just blocks away from the Disneyland Resort – and it came together in just one day!
Partnering with the City of Anaheim, Anaheim Family YMCA, KaBOOM! and local community members, Disney VoluntEARS built a playground at Stoddard Park in Anaheim that will provide more than 1,000 children a safe place to play. Planning began in March when local children met with Disney and KaBOOM! to design their ideal playground. The children’s drawings were then used to create the playground’s final design.
Disney is a KaBOOM! National Partner, supporting its vision of a play space within walking distance of every child in America. Since 2011, Disney has pledged more than $3.5 million to help build playgrounds and learning gardens across the country with the participation of thousands of Disney VoluntEARS. By the end of the year, Disney will have helped KaBOOM! build nearly 30 playgrounds nationwide!
Participants planted 19 types of native plants in the garden, which Disney VoluntEARS prepped earlier this month by clearing a 100 x 30-ft. area of non-native plants and weeds at Rancho Sonado, a local environmental education facility that received the first garden. The remaining gardens will benefit local schools.
Disney Kids and Nature Celebration alumni Briana Perlson, Katherine Gwaltney and Jennifer Janneck from Brea Olinda High School in Brea, Calif., rounded out the event with a mentoring activity that inspired participants to plan their own, similar project for the planet!
It’s not every day that more than 5,000 third-, fourth- and fifth-grade students from 21 cities in Orange County, Calif., gather to learn about the environment and protecting water supplies. But then again, the Children’s Water Education Festival only comes around once a year!
In celebration of Earth Month, the Disneyland Resort and the Orange County Water District, along with other sponsors, presented the 16th annual Children’s Water Education Festival at the Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum in Yorba Linda, Calif., March 28-29, along with Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse and more than 180 Disney VoluntEARS.
Disney Ambassadors Jolie Hales and Rene Torrico led an educational presentation that included environmental tips and fun facts, like how the Disneyland Resort recycles enough aluminum each year to make a soda can five times taller than Mount Everest!
It’s no secret that we’re excited for the March 1 christening of our new ship, the Disney Fantasy. In fact, we’re so excited that we’ve decided to share that joy with some of the local community, especially the New York area Boys & Girls Clubs.
After the ship pulled into port, Karl Holz, president of Disney Cruise Line, was joined by several Disney VoluntEARS and Captain Mickey Mouse where they surprised the children at the Frederic Douglass Academy Clubhouse in New York City with a $100,000 donation to support the New York area Boys & Girls Clubs.
The donation will help fund programs at Boys & Girls Clubs throughout New York City that teach children character and leadership, develop life and health skills and expand their creativity and cultural awareness through the arts.
The Boys & Girls Club and Disney share similar values, in that we both champion the happiness and well-being of kids, as well as inspire them to make a lasting, positive change in the world.
Be sure to check out posts by fellow Disney Cruise Line bloggers and my friends Jason Lasecki and Jonathan Frontado as we get ready to christen the ship.
The Disney Fantasy recently left the shipyard in Papenburg, Germany, but not before nearly 400 children from three local schools got to experience Disney characters and a special screening of “The Lion King” in 3D. It was Disney Cruise Line’s special way of saying thanks to the community that many cast and crew members have called home while the Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy were being built at the nearby Meyer-Werft shipyard.
As the children clamored to hug Donald Duck and Minnie Mouse in the lobby of the local theatre, it was clear that while most of us who were Disney VoluntEARS at the event could not speak German with the children, a smile – rather 400 of them – means the same thing in every language.
Happy holidays everyone! I’m happy to report the spirit of giving is alive and well at Walt Disney World Resort, where cast members are sharing their magic to make the season brighter for many Central Floridians.
As part of the “Season of Sharing” during the past few weeks, Disney VoluntEARS have:
Collected 38,323 toys for the U.S. Marines Toys for Tots campaign;
Spent more than 4,500 hours sorting and distributing Toys for Tots donations;
Outfitted more than 2,000 teddy bears for the Salvation Army;
Prepared more than 1,500 meals at Coalition for the Homeless; and
Packaged more than 30,000 pounds of prepared food for the Disney Harvest program benefitting Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida.
While these efforts clearly help during the holidays, they go well beyond, as Disney gives cash and in-kind support year round at hundreds of local nonprofits that focus on improving the lives of children and families.
Time and time again, I’m impressed and amazed by what happens when Disney steps up to help address community needs.
These acts of generosity are deeply appreciated by those who benefit from them and are truly making a difference during a time when it’s needed most.