Today is an incredibly special day for Walt Disney World Resort – marking 50 magical years of making dreams come true. As we reflect on this historic moment together, there is no better way to commemorate this occasion than by giving back to the community we’ve called home all this time.
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.
In celebration of our 50th anniversary, I am deeply humbled to share that 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.
We are proud to partner 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 as we work together to find solutions to important matters throughout our region and empower all individuals to create a brighter tomorrow.
Here’s a little bit more about each of the organizations receiving grants today and their important work throughout the Central Florida community:
- 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.