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.
Walt Disney World Resort cast members have spent the past few weeks playing the role of Santa’s helpers by collecting tons of new toys as part of the resort’s annual effort to support the Toys for Tots campaign.
Items appropriate for infants and teenagers alike, ranging from dolls to bicycles, were transported from Disney today via military vehicles. Upon the convoy’s arrival at the Central Florida Tots for Tots warehouse, Disney VoluntEARS assisted a squad of U.S. Marines in unloading and sorting the thousands of donations.
“We are so grateful to Disney for their generous support of Toys for Tots,” said First Sgt. Michael Diaz, who heads up the 2010 Central Florida Toys for Tots campaign. “Their donations will make holiday dreams come true for thousands of local kids.”
In addition to contributing 20,000 toys, Disney VoluntEARS have given thousands of hours toward helping the U.S. Marines register families in need, sort and stock toys and assist with toy distribution.
This year, Central Florida Toys for Tots expects to assist 7,200 families from Orange, Osceola and Seminole counties in celebrating the holiday season with gifts for more than 20,000 children. The annual toy drive is meant to send a message of hope to youngsters by ensuring they have at least one new gift to open during the holidays.
The Walt Disney Company’s involvement with Toys for Tots began more than 60 years ago when Walt Disney and his animators designed the original Toys for Tots logo that is still used today.
The annual toy drive is one of many charitable activities underway 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.
(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)
Woody and Buzz are back and they are asking for your help. Toys for Tots, in collaboration with the release of Toy Story 3, is kicking off an unprecedented summer toy drive. Throughout the month of June in 24 cities throughout the United States, the public will be asked to honor their cherished memories of childhood play by donating a new unwrapped toy during Toy Story 3 promotional events. The mission is to surpass the 16.3 million toys, books and other gifts raised in 2009 that fulfilled the holiday dreams of 7.4 million children in more than 690 communities nationwide.
“We are thrilled to be working with Disney/Pixar’s Toy Story 3 on this special summer toy raising event,” said Bill Grein, vice president, marketing and development for The Marines Toys for Tots Foundation. “We are so proud of the fact that the gifts raised in each of the 24 cities will remain in those specific cities and will eventually be distributed to less fortunate children in those communities. It is truly a program where anyone who donates a toy is really donating a smile to a child in their own hometown.”
- Participating cities include Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Dallas, Denver, Detroit, Honolulu, Houston, Kansas City, Los Angeles, Miami, Minneapolis, New Orleans, New York, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Salt Lake City, San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle, St. Louis and Washington, DC.
- Look for the Official Toys for Tots Toy Story 3 donation boxes displayed at each event.
- Any new and unwrapped toy, book or gift will gratefully be accepted.
- We encourage donations for children of all ages, but please especially consider pre-teen and teenagers.
For details regarding a Toys for Tots Toy Story 3 event in a city near you, please log on to www.toysfortots.org.