With approximately 20,000 brand new toys in tow, Walt Disney World Resort VoluntEARS were on a mission this morning to make the holidays brighter for thousands of local children. Joined by Mickey Mouse and Duffy the Disney Bear, Disney VoluntEARS made a special delivery to the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve’s Central Florida Toys for Tots headquarters to drop off the sizable donation.
(L-R) US Marine Corps Staff Sgt. Jahir Jimenez, Minnie Mouse, Mickey Mouse, Duffy the Disney Bear and US Marine Corps First Sgt. Michael Diaz, head of the 2010 Central Florida Toys for Tots campaign, pose Nov. 15, 2010 in front of the “Cuddliest Christmas Tree” at Epcot in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. The 20-foot-high, 10-foot-wide Christmas tree made of 1,200 stuffed Duffy bears was created for the launch of Walt Disney World Resort’s annual Toys for Tots collection drive. For the next few weeks, Walt Disney World Resort cast members will play the role of Santa’s helpers by collecting new toys for the annual toy drive, which will be added to Monday’s donation of 1,200 stuffed Duffy bears from the “Cuddliest Christmas Tree.” The annual toy drive is one of many charitable activities under way at Walt Disney World Resort during the “Season of Sharing” that focuses on improving the lives of local children and their families during the holidays and beyond. (Photo by Gene Duncan/Disney)
Disneynature announced plans to collaborate with the African Wildlife Foundation (AWF) on a program to celebrate the release of the new Disneynature feature film “African Cats.” The program, “See ‘African Cats,’ Save the Savanna” was revealed in Nairobi, Kenya, during AWF’s 50th anniversary celebration last evening. During the film’s opening week (April 22-28), a portion of the proceeds from that week’s ticket sales will be donated to the organization through the Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund to ensure the future of lions, cheetahs, elephants, zebras, giraffes and a host of other animals in the vibrant African savanna. The AWF will be working to protect the Amboseli Wildlife Corridor, a passage between the Amboseli, Tsavo West and Chyulu National Parks, that is frequently used by a variety of wildlife.
Disneyland Resort cast members made magic for their favorite Southern California nonprofit organizations by donating more than $385,000. This month, cast members selected nearly 80 organizations – from local schools to social services – to receive grants ranging from $1,000 to $5,000.
The Anaheim Interfaith Shelter was one of the organizations that received a $5,000 grant. The shelter will use the funds to provide healthy food options at its on-site food pantry, helping to counter obesity among underprivileged children. The organization assists families in need of short-term support due to one-time events that cause homelessness.
Disneynature announced today that its “See ‘OCEANS,’ Save Oceans” campaign will protect more than 35,000 acres of coral reef in The Bahamas on behalf of the moviegoers who came out to see Disneynature’s motion picture “Oceans” during its opening week. Through the Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund, Disneynature will help establish new marine protected areas through the The Nature Conservancy’s Adopt a Coral Reef program. At 55 square miles, this protected area of coral reefs will be almost two-and-a-half times the size of Manhattan or the equivalent of more than 412 Disneylands, supporting the expansion of the Westside National Park of Andros.
The Bahamas represent an important ecosystem, straddling the Atlantic Ocean and the Caribbean Sea. The 700 islands that comprise The Bahamas contain miles of vital coral reefs, which are the foundation of a healthy ocean environment, providing shelter, nurseries and feeding grounds for hundreds of marine species, including dolphins, sea turtles and a wide range of fish. Scientists estimate that the coral reefs of the Caribbean could be gone in 50 years without a network of well-managed marine protected areas.
“We’re excited to once again collaborate with The Nature Conservancy on an initiative that takes the impact of Disneynature’s storytelling to an entirely new level,” said Alan Bergman, president of The Walt Disney Studios. “The health of our oceans is absolutely vital to the well-being of our planet and thanks to the supporters of Disneynature’s motion picture ‘Oceans,’ this investment in marine conservation will help ensure critical aquatic environments will thrive for future generations.”
“Disneynature has captured the beauty, wonder and fragility of our world’s marine habitats and species in ‘Oceans,’ said Mark Tercek, president and CEO of The Nature Conservancy. “We appreciate Disney’s commitment to help protect marine areas in The Bahamas, which is home to 30 percent of all coral reefs in the Atlantic Ocean. With Disneynature’s support, The Nature Conservancy and its partners are making significant progress toward our ambitious goal of doubling the total amount of marine protected area in The Bahamas.”
Amid sunny skies at Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort, nearly a hundred Disney Cast Members gathered early this morning to show their support of the American Red Cross and give a ray of hope to the people of Haiti.
Over the last few weeks, approximately 1,700 individual Walt Disney World Resort Cast Members raised more than $47,000 for the American Red Cross Haiti Relief and Development Fund through direct contributions from their paychecks. Many donations came from Cast Members who work in Disney Resorts; they have found the effort especially meaningful as many been directly impacted by the tragedy in Haiti.
Walt Disney World Resort hotels are working with Clean the World to recycle all the partially used amenities from their nearly 28,000 Central Florida hotel rooms. Clean the World sanitizes the soap and shampoo that would be discarded and distributes these amenities to people in need around the world.