Walt Disney World Resort is celebrating the accomplishments of Disney VoluntEARS, which gave a record 251,000 hours toward improving the lives of Central Floridians in 2009, by recognizing top standouts with awards and charitable donations.
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.
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.
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.