LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla., Dec. 15, 2015 – Leave it to Disney Cast Members to combine creativity, kindness and cuddly teddy bears to bring smiles to the faces of more than 1,100 Central Florida children this holiday season.
In support of the Salvation Army’s Angel Tree program, Cast Members from around Walt Disney World Resort spent the past month designing costumes, dressing bears and stuffing stockings for local children during the holidays. From wooly athletes to fuzzy firefighters to “Star Wars”-themed teddy bears, Cast Members exercised their imaginations decorating new friends for Central Florida kids in need. From feathers and beads to knitted sweaters to one-of-a-kind, handmade costumes – these bears are dressed to impress.
“Disney Cast Members are known for creating magical moments for children and families,” said Major Ted Morris III, area commander of the Salvation Army for Orange County. “We’re touched and honored by their ongoing participation to dress bears and stuff stockings for the Angel Tree program, which brightens the holidays for so many local families in need.”
For the past 18 years, dressing bears for the Salvation Army has been a holiday tradition for hundreds of Cast Members, including Rosalind Strasser, who is a training coordinator.
“The holidays are such a special time for children,” Strasser said. “As I create outfits for these bears, I think of the joy I am able to share with some great kids in our community.”
The Salvation Army donation is one of many charitable activities that are part of Walt Disney World Resort’s effort to #ShareTheJoy with Central Florida families most in need during the holidays. Along with this program, Cast Members also donate thousands of gifts to the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots program.
As a company with 74,000 Disney Cast Members who live and work in Central Florida, Walt Disney World Resort is committed to investing in its local community. In the past year, Walt Disney World Resort donated $44 million in cash and in-kind support to local nonprofit organizations.