LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. Tuesday, Nov. 13, 2018— Every day, Guests toss hundreds of pennies, nickels, dimes and quarters into fountains and wishing wells across Walt Disney World Resort. What they may not realize is that their coins are then collected and donated to nonprofit organizations. In 2018, those hopeful wishes added up to a very real $20,000.
For the past two decades, Guests have made wishes on more than $325,000 in wishing coins. Whether iconic locations like the Cinderella Castle wishing well and the moat of “it’s a small world,” or less traditional locales like the temple queue of Expedition Everest: Legend of the Forbidden Mountain, the coins are regularly collected, cleaned and deposited as part of routine care and maintenance in the theme parks. Once each year, the coins are donated. For 2018, Community Based Care of Central Florida was the chosen recipient of $20,000 in wishing coins. The organization is the largest supporter of child welfare programs in Central Florida and supports more than 3,000 children each day with services that range from foster care and adoption to mentoring and youth transitional services.
“We are so humbled by the important work that Community Based Care of Central Florida provides to families of all shapes and sizes here in Central Florida,” said Tajiana Ancora-Brown, director of external affairs at Walt Disney World Resort. “These coins represent wishes made by our guests in a magical place, but the funding the coins provide will make a very real impact on our community.”
As part of the coin collection process, Walt Disney World Cast Members were asked to select what Community Based Care of Central Florida program to support with the donation. Thousands of Cast Members cast their votes and selected a youth transitional program to allocate the $20,000 toward. Through the program, Community Based Care of Central Florida is able to provide a safety net of resources for foster care teens transitioning to adulthood.
Through the support of Guests’ wishing coins, the participation of Cast Members, and the efforts of Community Based Care of Central Florida, the dreams of foster care teens are coming true.