In less than three weeks, Walt Disney World Resort Cast Members came together for a common cause and collectively donated nearly 30,000 toys and gifts to the U.S. Marine Corps as part of their annual Toys for Tots drive.
In continued celebration of the 35th anniversary of the Disney VoluntEARS program, 35 Disney VoluntEARs and the 2019-2020 Walt Disney World Resort Ambassador team represented the nearly 75,000 Cast Members of Walt Disney World by bringing some of these donated toys to the Central Florida Toys for Tots distribution warehouse in style—via Minnie Van!
“Disney surprises us year after year with their continued commitment to Toys for Tots,” said Sgt. Ash Jacques, military police officer and coordinator of the Central Florida Toys for Tots drive. “With their contributions of thousands and thousands of toys, we’re able to help fulfill our mission of making sure every child in this region has at least one gift with their name on it during the holiday season.”
This year, the Marines registered more than 30,000 children in Orange, Osceola and Seminole counties to receive a special gift from the program, an increase from past years. The donated toys will each contribute to the campaign’s efforts to make the holiday season merry and bright for all Central Florida residents, from tots to teens.
“Toys for Tots is dedicated to putting smiles on the faces of thousands of children in our community,” said Rena Langley, senior vice president of public affairs for Walt Disney World Resort. “Making magic for children and families is something our Cast Members do each and every day, and it’s humbling to see them demonstrate that same spirit for magic-making out in the community, especially during the holiday season.
In addition to donating nearly 30,000 toys this year, Disney VoluntEARS also collectively dedicated more than 3,000 hours of their time toward the Toys for Tots cause. These hours were spent cleaning and organizing the warehouse and sorting toys for distribution, and will continue to accumulate as Disney VoluntEARs assist with the distribution of gifts to registered families.
Disney has supported Toys for Tots since the program’s founding, when, in 1948, Walt Disney created the original red train logo for the organization that is still used today. For more than 15 years, Walt Disney World Resort has organized an annual toy collection drive for its cast members, donating a total of more than 425,000 toys and gifts to children and families through Toys for Tots.