As part of a consolidated corporate responsibility report for The Walt Disney Company, Disney Cruise Line today released its 2009 Community Report, highlighting the many ways the company is involved in the ports it frequents throughout the world.
The report shares details on the line’s commitment in the areas of community outreach, environmental stewardship, and further outlines how the company provides a safe and comfortable workplace for cast and crew members.
“At Disney Cruise Line, we are proud to be involved with many communities around the world and strive to make a positive impact in all of the places we call home,” said Karl Holz, president of Disney Cruise Line and New Vacation Operations. “Through our relationships with local leaders, we are able to extend our special brand of Disney magic beyond our ships and into the local communities where we live, work and play.”
In 2009, Disney Cruise Line and its cast and crew members contributed more than $252,000 in charitable, cash and in-kind merchandise and equipment donations to local organizations focused on developing children and supporting the environment across 13 unique ports of call.
The community report reflects a company-wide effort to build an integrated, transparent strategy that focuses on serving the needs of guests, cast and crew members, shareholders, business partners and local communities.
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.
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.
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla., Dec. 7, 2009 – Costuming Cast Members at Walt Disney World Resort collected and dressed an all-time-high number of teddy bears this holiday season, donating 414 of the one-of-a-kind stuffed toys to the Salvation Army of Central Florida. The organization gives the bears to local children who are in need of Christmas gifts.
“I know it’s for the kids, and they are happy when they get them,” says Maryla Zielinska, a garment cutter coordinator in the Creative Costuming Workroom. “It’s Christmas – time to give something to other people.”
Maryla makes several costumes every year, and she makes lots of extra shoes, bows and hats for her co-workers’ bears. “It’s fun for me,” she says. “I remember my childhood, when I made things for my dolls.”
This annual program is an opportunity for the dedicated Costuming Cast to demonstrate their skills, creativity and compassion as they make one-of-a-kind outfits for bears that warm hearts across Central Florida.
Costumer Janice Jones started the program in Costuming in 1996, when she heard about the call for community members to dress the teddy bears. She thought it sounded like a great fit for the Costuming team, a highly skilled group of seamstresses, tailors, costume assistants, cosmetologists and many others throughout the division.
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla., Aug. 21, 2009 – As summer break draws to a close, Walt Disney World Cast Members are lending a helping hand to deserving Central Florida students and teachers by giving them the right supplies to confidently start the upcoming school year. Stocking up on boxes of crayons, rulers, pencils, folders and packs of notebook paper, Disney Cast Members hit an all-time high by donating a record 654,012 school supplies through the annual back-to-school supply drive at Walt Disney World Resort.
“School supplies may seem so simple but they are so very important,” says Eugene Campbell, vice president of Community Relations and Minority Business Development for Walt Disney World Resort. “I’m so proud that our kind and generous Cast Members recognize the need to give students all the tools necessary to achieve their very best during the school year. They’ve set a record for Disney’s contributions of school supplies to our community’s young students which is absolutely inspiring.”
This week, more than 200 Disney VoluntEARS sorted the supplies and distributed them to local students and teachers through partnerships with non-profits S.T.A.R.S. (Supplies to Assist Our Students) and A Gift For Teaching. S.T.A.R.S. received a total of 392,138 in Disney-donated supplies which filled nearly 6,000 backpacks given to students at 19 Orange County public elementary schools. A total of 261,874 Disney-donated back-to-school items were given to teachers through the Free Store at A Gift For Teaching’s Orlando facility.
PORT CANAVERAL, Fla. (July 18, 2009) – In a surprise celebration onboard the Disney Magic cruise ship, Disney Cruise Line announced the VoluntEAR of the Year recipients, awarding the efforts of Disney crew members giving back to communities around the globe.
Beverage Host, Archie Bugarin, Broadcast Engineer, Edwin Non and Show Control Engineer, Derek Segarra were recognized for their collective efforts supporting outreach projects in Disney Cruise Line ports, as well as giving back to education programs in their home country of the Philippines.
“We are proud to honor the dedication of these crew members,” said Mark Witko, Disney Cruise Line Community and Government Relations Manager. “They exemplify the positive impact that Disney Cruise Line strives to have on communities, both in our ports of call and around the world.”
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla., March 11, 2009 – As part of The Walt Disney Company’s first consolidated corporate responsibility report, Walt Disney World Resort released the 2008 Community Report that highlights the many ways the company remains actively involved in Central Florida.