LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla., May 12, 2016 – In a matter of six hours, a lonely lot of dirt was transformed into a childhood wonderland.
On May 7, helpful hands from over 100 Disney VoluntEARS worked with KaBOOM!, a national nonprofit, and other community volunteers to build a playground at Harbor House of Central Florida. The organization provides temporary housing for children and family survivors of domestic abuse.
This KaBOOM! playground – the 10th in Central Florida and the 67th nationwide – is more than a source of joy for children; it’s a safe place where they can get the active play needed to hope, thrive and ultimately, heal. The children at Harbor House gathered together in March to design the play structure of their dreams. Based off of these ideas, Disney VoluntEARS worked together to bring the layout to life at the build.
Corporate Citizenship Manager Angie Sola has led all 10 local builds, and is excited to bring a playground to Harbor House.
“This is a unique build for us,” Angie stated. “Children who have experienced domestic abuse will now have a place where they can be kids again, and develop a closer bond with their caregivers.”
Walt Disney World Ambassadors Caitlin Busscher and Nathaniel Palma were in attendance to rally the VoluntEARS and conquer construction tasks.
“This is an inspirational moment for me,” Palma noted. “I love seeing our Cast Members, many whom are attending on their day off or prior to their shift, giving back to the community.”
By the end of the build, Disney VoluntEARS assembled three adult-sized picnic tables, four child-sized picnic tables, four benches, six trash receptacles, one bike rack, one shade structure, painted sidewalk games, moved a mulch mountain bigger than a blue whale, mixed concrete weighing more than four adult Indian Elephants, and ultimately, built a playground to be enjoyed by thousands of children and families.
As a company with 74,000 Cast Members who live and work in Central Florida, Walt Disney World Resort is committed to investing in our community. In 2015, the resort donated a record $44 million in cash and in-kind support to local organizations, as well as more than 200,000 volunteer hours through the efforts of our Disney VoluntEARS.