Walt Disney World Resort has called Florida home for more than 50 years, and when our neighbors are in need, our cast are always ready to help. As Hurricane Ian recently made its way across Florida, cast members worked hand in hand with local organizations to assist with relief, recovery and rebuilding efforts across the state as part of the Disney VoluntEARS program.
While many cast joined together to ready the theme parks and other locations across the resort ahead of the storm, the community was also top of mind as teams collected and delivered resources to local organizations in preparation – including nearly 1,000 water bottles for Osceola Council on Aging, bedding supplies for individuals taking shelter at Salvation Army and hundreds of vital hygiene products for Hope Partnership, Hope CommUnity Center and The Sharing Center.
Following the storm, Disney VoluntEARS quickly mobilized to help impacted families and neighboring communities clean up debris, pack disaster relief kits, and sort through donations for areas in critical need. Since Hurricane Ian, Disney VoluntEARS have packed more than 15,000 disaster relief kits alongside local organizations.
In addition to hands-on helping, The Walt Disney Company is contributing millions of dollars in monetary support to relief efforts, including providing assistance to cast members and employees affected by the storm through the company’s relief fund. Additional funds are also being granted directly to local organizations helping those who need assistance in the wake of the storm, including nearly $500,000 in donations to Osceola Council on Aging, United Against Poverty, Project:Camp and World Central Kitchen.
Cast are further pitching in through other unique programs like Disney VoluntEARS Grants, which enables cast members to turn their volunteer hours into charitable contributions and Disney Matching Gifts, which doubles cast donations dollar-for-dollar to eligible nonprofits.
“That’s one of my favorite things about being a cast member at Disney — we always answer the call when our community needs help,” Disney VoluntEAR Patricia said while packing disaster relief meal kits at Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida. “I’m just so happy that I am able to help my neighbors.”
We continue thinking of our extended Disney family and all the communities across Florida rebuilding in the aftermath of the storm. We stand with you and remain committed to supporting you as we move forward, together.