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Disney Cruise Line Brings Holiday Cheer to Port Communities

posted on December 19th, 2012 by Rebecca Peddie, Manager of Public Affairs at Disney Cruise Line


Disney Cruise Line crew members who donated their time as Disney VoluntEARS put smiles on the faces of more than 2,600 people in less than a week in nine of the port communities that our ships call home.

That’s a lot of cheer!
Disney Cruise Line Brings Holiday Cheer to Port Communities

From helping deliver toys to deserving children to creating holiday crafts with senior citizens, these Disney VoluntEARS made a difference in communities throughout The Bahamas, The Caribbean, Mexico and Port Canaveral.
Disney Cruise Line Brings Holiday Cheer to Port Communities

Officers and crew on all four ships collected toys to benefit the US Marines Toys For Tots Foundation, while crew members living on Disney’s private island, Castaway Cay, delivered 1,200 storybooks to children in the surrounding Abaco Islands.

Throughout 2012, Disney Cruise Line cast and crew members contributed more than 4,500 community service hours, supporting a number of causes benefitting children and families, as well as the environment.

How does your family give back during the holiday season?


For more of how Disney VoluntEARS and Disney Cruise Line gave back this year, see the posts below:

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Walt Disney World Resort Cast Members Show the True Meaning of the Holiday Season

posted on December 13th, 2012 by Wilma Colón, Media Relations Manager, Walt Disney World Resort


Amid the hustle and bustle of the holidays, it is easy to forget the true meaning of the season! Today I got a big lesson about generosity, compassion and caring for others from our Walt Disney World Resort cast members who donated 35,000 toys for the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots program.

Walt Disney World Resort Cast Members Show the True Meaning of the Holiday Season by Donating Toys to the Toys for Tots Program

Mickey Mouse was there and so were the Marines; all coming together as one big community to make sure that many kids in need have at least one present to open during the holidays. Our Disney VoluntEARS are also giving 7,100 hours of their time to help the U.S. Marines with everything from registering families to sorting and packing toys.

Walt Disney World Resort Cast Members Show the True Meaning of the Holiday Season by Donating Toys to the Toys for Tots Program

Since Walt Disney and his animators designed the original Toys for Tots logo 60 years ago, Disney has supported this program that puts the season of sharing in the right perspective.

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Disneyland Resort VoluntEARS Support Anaheim Veterans

posted on November 12th, 2012 by Kevin Rafferty, Jr., Communications Specialist, Disneyland Resort


Disney VoluntEARS recently celebrated Anaheim-area veterans by working with The Mission Continues, an organization that challenges veterans to serve and lead in communities across America. On November 3, Disney VoluntEARS visited Veterans First in Anaheim for a work day where they, along with other volunteers from The Mission Continues, painted, landscaped and performed general maintenance at the facility, which provides housing for homeless and at-risk veterans in the area.
Disney VoluntEARS, Including Veteran Manny Kiesser, Visit Veterans First in Anaheim for a Work Day

“It was an honor to work with the Disney VoluntEARS and The Mission Continues teams at the Veteran’s First home on Saturday,” said Disney VoluntEAR and veteran Manny Kiesser. “Veterans really do have an unspoken bond that spans generations and even the branch you served with. So as a veteran, it felt really special to be working alongside veterans again – and with others who care about us. It was even more special to be able to help out some other, less fortunate veterans. I served with the Marines and our motto is Semper Fidelis – Always Faithful. On Saturday, we kept the faith with our vets, and I’m grateful to Disney for providing the opportunity.”

The Mission Continues is one of the organizations to which Disney has provided a grant through the Heroes Work Here initiative, launched in March 2012. Disney committed to providing at least 1,000 jobs and career opportunities for returning U.S. veterans over the next three years, supporting military families and veterans during their transition into civilian life, and launching a national public awareness campaign to encourage all employers across the U.S. to hire veterans.


Read more about Disney VoluntEARS in the posts below:

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Walt Disney World VoluntEARS Help Raise $16.8 Million for Victims of Hurricane Sandy

posted on November 9th, 2012 by Wilma Colón, Media Relations Manager, Walt Disney World Resort


When the first call went out for Disney VoluntEARS to help raise money for those affected by Hurricane Sandy, I checked my watch. It was 3 p.m. and the first shift started in just three hours. “There is no way,” I thought.

Walt Disney World VoluntEARS Help Raise $16.8 Million for Victims of Hurricane Sandy

But more than 75 Walt Disney World VoluntEARS quickly showed their character, shifting their evening plans to support a good cause. For six hours, they answered phones at the Disney Reservation Center in Orlando to support ABC’s national “Day of Giving,” which raised more than $16.8 million for the American Red Cross.

Walt Disney World VoluntEARS Help Raise $16.8 Million for Victims of Hurricane Sandy

Among the stories the VoluntEARS will never forget are that of a 100-year-old man who donated $100 in honor of his age and 10-year-old Keyla, who did not think twice before donating her weekly allowance.

“Can you send me an envelope so I can send you my $10?” Keyla asked the Disney VoluntEAR, who was touched by the sense of compassion in her voice.

The envelope is on its way, Keyla.

Thank you to all who supported “Day of Giving” and thank you, Disney VoluntEARS!

Check out these past posts about our Disney VoluntEARS:

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Disney Cast Members Create ‘Wreck-It Ralph’ CANstruction for Local Food Bank

posted on November 2nd, 2012 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


Who’s excited to see “Wreck-It Ralph” when it opens in theaters today?

A group of 50 Disney VoluntEARS recently combined their excitement for the film with their enthusiasm for volunteer work by building a “Wreck-It Ralph” CANstruction for Second Harvest Food Bank here in Central Florida. The VoluntEARS actually worked for two months to plan just how this larger-than-life structure would look and be pieced together.

Check out the full project in this video:

A few days ago, the structure was disassembled and the 7,634 cans of food were donated to Second Harvest Food Bank.

Check out more CANstructions in the posts below:

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22nd Annual CHOC Walk in the Park at Disneyland Resort Breaks Records for Kids Like Carson Bosley

posted on October 19th, 2012 by Kevin Rafferty, Jr., Communications Specialist, Disneyland Resort


22nd Annual CHOC Walk in the Park at Disneyland Resort

The 22nd annual CHOC Walk in the Park at the Disneyland Resort on October 14 was a huge success, with 850 teams raising $1.8 million, and counting, for CHOC Children’s (Children’s Hospital of Orange County). Walking teams set several new records, including the Disneyland Annual Passholder walk team, which raised their highest amount to date with more than $60,000, and the Disney VoluntEARS walk team, which contributed $150,000, with matching funds from Disney.

This year, Disneyland Resort offered a one-night stay in the Disneyland Dream Suite for any cast member on the Disney VoluntEARS walk team who raised $5,000 or more. Ticket Services cast member Bill Weeks, a former kindergarten teacher, passed the $5,000 mark as the Resort’s top individual fundraiser. Of course, Weeks didn’t walk for the prize. He raised more than $6,000 in memory of a former student, Carson Bosley, who suffered a brain aneurysm at age 7 and passed away 19 days later, devastating Carson’s family and friends, including Weeks.

22nd Annual CHOC Walk in the Park at Disneyland Resort

“The good people at CHOC Children’s were extraordinary,” Weeks said. “They worked relentlessly around the clock to restore him to good health. They made Carson’s family feel so special during his stay. They were, and still are, champions in my eyes. CHOC Children’s needs our support because they can’t reach all of the children in need without it.”

Weeks says he plans to donate his stay in the Disneyland Dream Suite, possibly to the Bosley family, in memory of Carson. “I always thought Carson would go on and do great things … and he has through CHOC Children’s,” Weeks said. Since its inception, CHOC Walk in the Park has raised nearly $21 million for health care programs, education and research at CHOC Children’s.

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Disney VoluntEARS Help Tow Away Hunger in Orange County, California

posted on September 27th, 2012 by Kevin Rafferty, Jr., Communications Specialist, Disneyland Resort


“Disney

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.”

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Disney VoluntEARS Create Play Space in Santa Ana, California

posted on September 13th, 2012 by Kevin Rafferty, Jr., Communications Specialist, Disneyland Resort


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!

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Walt Disney World Resort Donates Record 3.1 Million School Supplies to Students

posted on August 10th, 2012 by Kathleen Prihoda, Manager of Media Relations, Walt Disney World Resort


A new school year is almost here. Are you ready?

Walt Disney World VoluntEARS Donate School Supplies for Children in Central Florida

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.

Walt Disney World VoluntEARS Donate School Supplies for Children in Central Florida

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.

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Disney Cruise Line Builds a Nautical Playground in One Day!

posted on July 30th, 2012 by Rebecca Peddie, Manager of Public Affairs at Disney Cruise Line


Approximately 300 volunteers + six hours = one shiny, new playground!

More than 150 Disney Cruise Line VoluntEARS 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.

 Volunteers mixed and poured 285 bags of concrete, shoveled 135 cubic yards of mulch and planted fruit trees for a custom-designed community garden.  The end result was a space for children and families to come together and enjoy the outdoors.

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:

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