The Walt Disney Company announced today that it will donate $2.5 million to the American Red Cross to support humanitarian aid efforts related to the earthquake and tsunami in Japan. In addition, the Company will match Disney cast member and employee donations to the Red Cross Japan Earthquake and Pacific Tsunami Fund and Save the Children, dollar for dollar, up to $1 million total.
“Our hearts go out to the people of Japan,” said Robert A. Iger, president and CEO, The Walt Disney Company. “We send our continued thoughts of support and encouragement as this great nation begins the long road to recovery.”
“We are truly grateful for Disney’s generosity to help those affected by the earthquake and tsunami in Japan,” said Gail McGovern, President and CEO of the American Red Cross. “Disney’s support is enabling the Red Cross to provide critical assistance and essential relief items in this time of urgent need.”
The Walt Disney Company is committed to working with humanitarian organizations to help rebuild stricken communities and assist families as Japan recovers from these devastating natural disasters.
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.