For more than 15 years, Walt Disney World Resort cast members have hosted a Back-to-School Supply Drive in support of A Gift for Teaching, collecting school supplies and monetary donations to ensure our Central Florida students and teachers have the tools they need to succeed in the classroom.
“I am always blown away by our Disney VoluntEARS and their dedication to supporting the local community,” Tajiana Ancora-Brown, director of external affairs at Walt Disney World Resort said. “This year, it has been especially wonderful to watch our cast members come together to support Central Florida students and teachers after one of the most challenging school years yet.”
This year, more than 17,000 school supplies were collected during the drive, supporting thousands of children and teachers in schools throughout Orange, Osceola, Lake, Polk and Seminole counties.
“I loved school growing up, and I know that all kids anywhere just want to learn,” Financial Accounting Analyst Danison said. “Being able to make that experience in the classroom that much bigger and brighter—it really tugs at the heartstrings for me.”
Cast members were also able to make monetary donations, bringing in nearly $4,000 for A Gift for Teaching. Online donations of $25 or more were doubled through Disney’s Matching Gifts program, which means double the supplies!
“I just love giving back to the community,” Worldwide Safety & Health and Engineering & Sourcing Administrative Assistant Keith said. “There’s so many people that need a helping hand, and what better way than to be in a place where you can work and have these opportunities to help the community.”
Cast members across the resort enthusiastically support the Back-to-School Drive each year. This annual initiative not only provides an opportunity to come together to support teachers and students here at Walt Disney World, it also provides Disney VoluntEARS an opportunity to see the direct impact of their donations in the community through in-person events like Disney’s Sorting Day at A Gift for Teaching.
“Coming together and collecting all of these supplies to help students get the necessary resources they need to succeed in school is very important,” Financial Analyst Shanice said. “Without those things, you don’t get the full learning experience.”
So far this year, Disney VoluntEARS have worked more than 350 hours supporting Back-to-School efforts, and the fun isn’t over just yet. More Back-to-School VoluntEARS events are on the horizon, and we can’t wait to continue watching our cast lend a helping hand out in the community.
“You never know when you might need help, so it’s always best to extend your hand in any situation possible,” Shanice said. “It never hurts to help.”