Disney Cast Members Brighten Holidays for Local Children with Toys for Tots donations

Filed in: About WDW, Beyond the Theme Parks, Holidays

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla., Dec. 19, 2016 – With merriment and cheer, Disney Cast Members filled festive boxes, stocked shelves and joyfully distributed gifts to Central Florida children through the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Program.

This year families of 20,000 Central Florida children registered with the Marines’ annual program to receive a little help for the holidays. Cast Members answered the call to share the joy of the season and donated more than 25,000 gifts for Central Florida children – from toddlers to teens – as well as funds to help the Marines buy more.

“Donations received from local companies like Disney and others make it possible for us to carry out our mission to collect and distribute gifts at Christmas, and provide joy to Central Florida children in need,” said Sgt. Robert Bacchus, U.S. Marine Corps Reserve.

Disney VoluntEARS and their families created cards and blankets, as well as packed boxes full of books, action figures, plush characters, dolls, cars, sports equipment, beauty sets and more. They also gave of their personal time to help prepare the warehouse for families to select gifts by decking the aisles with holiday trimmings and stocking shelves with donated gifts. Collectively, their efforts reached a grand total of 3,200 hours in support of the Toys for Tots Program this year.

“The Walt Disney Co. has joined with the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots for nearly 70 years to brighten this time of the year for families in need,” said Nancy Gidusko, director of Corporate Citizenship for Walt Disney World Resort. “Our Central Florida Cast Members eagerly look forward to sharing the joy of the holiday season through this program each year.”

Since 2003, Walt Disney World Resort and Cast Members have collected and donated more than 400,000 toys and gifts to the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Programs. These efforts continue a long-standing relationship with the organization, which began in 1948 when our founder, Walt Disney, and his animators designed the original red Toys for Tots train logo.

With 74,000 Disney Cast Members who live and work in Central Florida, Walt Disney World Resort is committed to investing in programs that positively impact children and families in our local community. Last year Walt Disney World Resort donated $44 million in cash and in-kind support to local nonprofit organizations, and Disney VoluntEARS contributed more than 200,000 hours, valued at $4.5 million, toward improving the lives of Central Floridians.