Disney surprises local nonprofit organizations with $500,000 to benefit thousands of Central Florida children and families

Filed in: About WDW

Disney Grants are part of a continuing $34 million in giving Disney plans to invest in the community this year.

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla., April 19, 2018—As a fun-filled, Toy Story-themed tailgate party traveled through the Central Florida this week, Walt Disney World Resort surprised and celebrated several non-profit organizations that aim to make a difference in Central Florida.

Disney celebrated those organizations by awarding $500,000 in Disney Grants to unique and promising community projects as part of more than $34 million in cash and in-kind support they plan to invest in the community throughout 2018.

The 2018 Disney Grants will help bring to life a variety of community programs that strongly align with Disney’s philanthropic approach. From providing nutritious, complimentary food to Central Florida high school students who need it the most to helping connect homeless and unaccompanied teens to much-needed services, the grants will support unique, collaborative efforts that inspire significant and solutions-driven change in the community.

  • With the Disney Grant, Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida plans to extend its existing School Market and Teen Nutrition program into both Osceola and Celebration High Schools, joining six other participating local schools. This program offers nutritious and complimentary food to students who need it most. The grant will also fund a unique internship program in some local schools where student interns will offer nutrition education to their peers.
  • Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Florida — Lake & Sumter Counties will continue delivering development programs for each of the five clubs through its Project LEARN. With the Disney Grant, the Boys & Girls Clubs will continue to serve more than 1,000 local students with multi-faceted programming designed to help improve academic skills, encourage healthy life choices and promote good character and citizenship.
  • The Orange County Library System, in partnership with ArtReach Orlando and Hero Spark, Inc. (formerly Game Changer Orlando), will launch a Summer Reading Program 2018: Libraries Rock! at each of the 16 Orange County branches. This daily program will continue to develop young students during summer break from school by offering innovative programs, classes and technology that enables children and their families to learn, explore and create together.
  • Urban Think Foundation Inc., in partnership with UCF CREATE, will expand its existing Page 15 program to inspire a new generation of artists and writers. Through exciting animation, writing and design workshops, local students will explore their creativity, passion and be empowered to make a positive impact in their personal lives and in communities.
  • In partnership with Heart of Florida United Way, Zebra Coalition and Homeless Services Network, the Central Florida Commission on Homelessness will use their $100,000 Disney Grant to develop a much-needed digital platform that will enable homeless and unaccompanied youth to easily connect to homeless services via texting in a collaborative online environment that also offers service providers the ability to coordinate efforts for a more comprehensive approach to care.

For decades, Walt Disney World Resort has remained committed to investing in Central Florida in ways that directly strengthen children and families and bring positive, lasting change to the community. These special grants are part of more than $34 million in cash and in-kind support that Disney plans to invest in the community throughout 2018. Through the Disney Grants awarded, these organizations will continue to positively impact the lives of Central Florida children and families.