Throughout the holiday season, teams across Disney Cruise Line joined together to spread holiday cheer at a variety of Disney VoluntEARS opportunities around the world.
First up was the Papenburg Christmas Market in Germany where the Disney Cruise Line team hosted a “From Our Family To Yours” booth to benefit Make-A-Wish Deutschland. The market was held near the Meyer Werft shipyard where the Disney Wish was constructed and where the Disney Treasure is currently being developed. Attendees who donated to Make-A-Wish received Mickey-shaped cookies and Disney-themed holiday ornaments, while kids enjoyed the coloring station.
“It was incredible to see how engaged the visitors were, especially kids of all ages who pulled their parents to our Disney booth,” said Alina Mekelburg, Executive Assistant for Walt Disney Imagineering Germany. “A 4-year-old took her last pennies out of her pocket to help Make-A-Wish Deutschland. This was an absolute highlight to volunteer this year.”
Meanwhile in San Diego, crew members from the Disney Wonder volunteered at Feeding San Diego to assist with packing a variety of fresh produce at the food distribution center. Feeding San Diego is the leading hunger-relief and food rescue organization in San Diego County – providing more than 35 million meals every year.
“I didn’t know that sorting cucumbers is so much fun,” said Raf Zablan, crew engagement manager for the Disney Wonder. “We bagged and boxed a total of 8,562 cucumbers, which weighed 4,987 pounds. We were able to finish three pallets in two hours – and loved working together as a team to make an impact!”
With Disney Cruise Line port communities in The Bahamas, cast and crew members inspired future storytellers by donating Disney-themed books and plush toys to more than 650 students in South Abaco and South Eleuthera. Crew members from Castaway Cay and the Lighthouse Point construction team read holiday stories for students while embracing their creativity with coloring sheets.
“I don’t know who had more fun – the kids at the schools or the ‘kids’ from Castaway Cay,” said Ruth Monroe, Castaway Cay Human Resources manager. “The students were so excited to receive their gifts and an added bonus was some crew members saw their kids and grandkids while we were in the classrooms.”
While the Disney Wish was in Nassau, crew members also traveled to the Ranfurly Homes for Children to enjoy some festive fun. Crew members spent the day creating holiday ornaments, delivering gifts and surprising the kids with a special visit from Captain Mickey Mouse. Each child was also gifted a tablet device and Bluetooth headphones.
“Captain Mickey walking in for them was the best gift that we could have given them today,” said Zarah, a Youth Activities manager aboard the Disney Wish. “They enjoyed the presents and crafts, but seeing Captain Mickey and hugging him – they loved it,” she added.