As school bells ring across Central Florida welcoming students and teachers back to their classrooms – more than 100,000 children will be building their academic skills with $229,000 worth of paper, colored pencils, crayons, glue sticks and other supply items donated by Cast Members at the Walt Disney World Resort.
“Since 2005, Disney Cast Members have helped students throughout Central Florida start their school year off on the right foot with our back-to-school supply drive,” said Nancy Gidusko, director of corporate citizenship for Walt Disney World Resort. “Through individual contributions of school supplies and monetary donations, we are able to assist families across our community and make an investment that is certain to pay dividends for Central Florida students.”
In addition to giving school supplies and cash donations, Disney VoluntEARS also dedicated more than 1,900 hours to assist A Gift For Teaching (AGFT) with hosting a pep rally to kick off the drive, sorting donated supplies, stocking shelves and helping teachers during the first day of shopping at the nonprofit’s Free Store, and answering phones at WKMG’s on-air telethon benefitting AGFT.
Beyond giving supplies and their time, this year Disney Cast Members contributed $10,000 in cash and company-matched donations, which AGFT has the ability to turn into another $100,000 in school supplies for children in Polk, Lake, Osceola, Orange and Seminole counties.
“The generosity of companies like Disney is helping change lives of our community’s highest-need students,” said Jane Thompson, president of A Gift For Teaching. “From donating supplies to giving of their time, Disney and its Cast Members are making a huge difference for Central Florida teachers and families.”
For more than a decade, Disney Cast Members have been dedicated to supporting education through a wide range of initiatives, including back-to-school supply drives, annual contributions to local school districts, grants to education nonprofits, individual recognition of outstanding students through the Disney
Dreamers and Doers program and volunteerism in classrooms throughout Central Florida.