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.
“I would love to be in Haiti to help out my family and friends but until I can get there, I do what I can to help from here,” said Wendy Richard, who works as a Cast Service Specialist at Disney’s All-Star Resort. “I am very grateful for this effort and the many Cast Members who contributed together to make it their own cause,” said Richard.
In recognition of the accomplishment, a team of Resorts Cast Members joined by Kevin Myers, vice president of Resort Operations for Walt Disney World Resort, presented a check to Joel Hass, Central Florida CEO of the American Red Cross, along with a gift of more than 1,700 Mickey Mouse plush dolls – one for each Cast Member who donated – for use in their disaster relief efforts involving children. With a smile, Myers noted this is just one example of the care and compassion that Disney Cast Members show the world and each other.
“To see Disney Cast Members giving of themselves to our efforts is just wonderful,” said Joel Hass, Central Florida CEO of the American Red Cross. “This money will go to use right away in helping us in Haiti take care of victims with food, clothing, whatever they need – their immediate humanitarian needs.”
Offering to help with the American Red Cross efforts is just one of many ways that Disney Cast Members and The Walt Disney Company are extending support to the people of Haiti. The Walt Disney Company has committed $100,000 in humanitarian aid through the Red Cross International Fund to support relief efforts and is working closely with Cast Members from Haiti to accommodate their needs. Additionally, Disney VoluntEARS have been instrumental behind-the-scenes by lending their support to the “Hope for Haiti Now” telethon and Clean the World recycling efforts in Disney Resorts.
Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund (DWCF) is proud to support International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) to provide veterinary care and vaccinations for animals in the wake of a devastating 7.0 magnitude earthquake in Haiti. IFAW and the World Society for the Protection of Animals are jointly leading the Animal Relief Coalition for Haiti (ARCH), working with more than a dozen of the world’s leading animal protection organizations to aid as many animals as possible.
Funding will provide the ARCH team with medical supplies and equip a “mobile clinic” that is delivering emergency care for injured animals and administering vaccinations to prevent outbreaks of diseases such as rabies. Click here to watch a short video about IFAW’s relief efforts.
The DWCF provided $20,000 to the emergency effort through Disney’s Friends for Change: Project Green and the iTunes initiative, in which 100 percent of the proceeds from the download of the inspiring anthem “Send it On” benefitted environmental charities through the DWCF.
Lending a helping hand through their expertise in guest service, approximately 400 Walt Disney World Cast Members volunteered to answer more than 15,000 calls for the “Hope for Haiti Now” telethon and route donations to disaster relief organizations participating in the historic event. The benefit, which featured more than 100 of the biggest names in the entertainment industry, aired worldwide on major networks and cable outlets on Jan. 22 and raised more than $61 million for earthquake disaster relief.
“I feel like my heart is in Haiti,” said Wendy Richard, a Disney Cast Member who helped field calls and process donations for the global broadcast from the Disney Reservations Center in Orlando. Like thousands of Walt Disney World Cast Members, Richard has close personal ties to Haiti and has lost friends and family in the region. “Anything I can do to help from here, I really want to do it,” said Richard.
Accepting donations ranging from five dollars to $15,000, Cast Members kept their enthusiasm and energy up Friday night as the calls kept coming for more than two hours.
“Disney Cast Members are generous, compassionate and know how to rally when people are in need,” said Shannon McAleavey, senior vice president of Walt Disney World Resort Public Affairs, who noted that every donation was equally powerful and every dollar will make a difference.
Funds raised from “Hope for Haiti Now” will benefit The Clinton Bush Haiti Fund, Oxfam America, Partners in Health, the Red Cross, UNICEF, the United Nations World Food Programme and Yele Haiti Foundation. Donations are still being accepted online at www.hopeforhaitinow.org.
Offering to help with the “Hope for Haiti Now” telethon is one of many ways The Walt Disney Company and Disney Cast Members are extending their support to the people of Haiti. The Walt Disney Company has committed $100,000 in humanitarian aid through the Red Cross International Fund to support relief efforts and is working closely with Cast Members from Haiti to accommodate their needs during this difficult time. Cast Members also have the option to make a direct contribution from their paycheck to the Red Cross Crisis Relief Fund.
Toy Story 3 director Lee Unkrich is auctioning off his own personal memorabilia from the upcoming Disney/Pixar film for charitable efforts in Haiti. Unkrich has pledged 100% of the proceeds from the auctions to go to the Clinton Bush Haiti Fund.
The first item up for auction is a Toy Story 3 teaser poster featuring Sheriff Woody Pride and signed by actor Tom Hanks.
The poster, which is listed as including free shipping, can be found on eBay.
The Walt Disney Company (NYSE:DIS) announced today it will contribute $100,000 in humanitarian aid to the victims of the earthquake in Haiti. The donation will be provided to the Red Cross International Fund to support Haiti’s relief efforts.
“We at the Walt Disney Company are deeply saddened by this tragedy and send our thoughts and prayers to the people of Haiti and their loved ones, which include our Cast Members and employees,” said Robert A. Iger, president and CEO, The Walt Disney Company.
“We hope this donation will help the Red Cross to provide immediate aid and relief to the thousands of people affected by this terrible tragedy,” Mr. Iger added.