Shortly after Hurricane Dorian brought devastation to the Northern Bahamas, I shared with you that The Walt Disney Company, led by Disney Cruise Line, committed more than $1 million in cash and in-kind support to help hurricane relief and recovery efforts, including donations to non-profit relief agencies.
Today, I’m here to share more details with you about how our $1 million contribution is benefiting the people of The Bahamas. Disney has teamed up with three leading non-profit disaster relief and recovery organizations: the American Red Cross, the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF), and All Hands and Hearts.
The American Red Cross continues to provide critical aid to those recovering in The Bahamas. Disney has provided $250,000 to support the organization’s on-the-ground relief efforts, including the delivery of food staples and basic construction materials. Disney has also encouraged its employees to contribute financially to the American Red Cross to help further support these immediate needs. Eligible employees’ donations were matched through the Disney Employee Matching Gifts program, dollar for dollar.
Hurricane Dorian forced thousands of residents to evacuate the island, and we’ve since heard from many of them that one of their biggest priorities is for their children to return to school. Disney Cruise Line has a long history of supporting education efforts throughout The Bahamas and we recognize how important schooling is for children. With this in mind, Disney gave $250,000 in support of UNICEF’s efforts to help provide lifesaving supplies and psychosocial support for children and adolescents affected by Hurricane Dorian. In partnership with The Bahamas Ministry of Education, UNICEF is working to register approximately 10,000 displaced students in schools. Registered students will receive medical screenings, uniform and lunch assistance, referrals for counseling services and free bus transportation for social, sporting and extra-curricular activities.
Additionally, as the community looks to the future, Disney provided $500,000 to All Hands and Hearts to support the rebuilding of community schools in Abaco, home to many of our Bahamian-based Disney Cruise Line crew members. All Hands and Hearts is a volunteer-powered disaster relief organization that addresses the immediate and long-term needs of communities impacted by natural disasters.
Over the last few months, Disney Cruise Line cast and crew members have worked diligently to provide immediate short-term relief to those impacted. Disney Cruise Line cast members assembled more than 1,500 Clean the World personal hygiene kits. Clean the World is a global health organization committed to providing sustainable resources, programming and education focused on water, sanitation and hygiene for those impacted by natural disasters, poverty and homelessness. The Disney Dream, one of our ships, delivered these kits to Nassau where they were distributed to shelters for hurricane evacuees from Abaco and Grand Bahama.
Disney also donated food, water, medical supplies, cleaning supplies, generators and construction materials, which the Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy delivered to points in Nassau and the Abaco Islands and others have helped deliver to Grand Bahama to assist those most affected by the hurricane. Additionally, Disney Cruise Line is supporting its Bahamian-based crew members who live in impacted areas. So far, Disney has provided an additional $500,000 in supplies and direct aid to affected employees.
We know the road to recovery is long, but we hope our collective efforts will help the people of The Bahamas – our friends, neighbors and co-workers – to put their lives and communities back together little-by-little.
Together, we’re #BahamasStrong!