Summer FUNds

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – With a $55,000 donation to local organizations, Walt Disney World is opening doors to summer fun for Central Florida youth.

More than 800 young people will benefit from the $55,000 “Summer FUNds” donation from Disney to be shared among 11 agencies in Orange, Seminole and Osceola counties. Disney identified the need to engage children in constructive activities during the summer and is helping those youth, who would not otherwise be participating in structured summer programs.

“It’s important that children have an opportunity to have fun in a constructive and educational way,” said Diane Ledder, director of Community Relations, Walt Disney World Co. “And it’s a goal of DisneyHand – Helping Kids Shine to help kids find constructive activities in their free time during the summer.”

Activities that will be made available to kids through the Summer FUNds donation range from swimming lessons and reading instruction to camps that focus on art and diversity.

The organizations and programs receiving support are:

Crealde School of Art – Ten children of migrant farm workers from Apopka will attend a six-week art program. The students will be exposed to five different disciplines that include sculpture, painting, drawing, print-making and photography.

Weekends of Greater Orlando – One hundred high school students will complete a week long leadership program. In the fall they will take what they learned and become Weekends chapter presidents in their respective schools, coordinating events and other activities throughout the year.

Girl Scouts of Osceola County – About 45 youth, who otherwise could not afford a camping experience, will receive scholarships to attend Girl Scout camp this summer.

Jewish Community Center – Nearly 168 underprivileged elementary school age children in Eatonville will have an opportunity to attend a camp that focuses on diversity.

Florida Citrus Sports Camp – The donation helps Florida Citrus Sports expand its summer camp into Seminole County Central Florida are also part of the daily activities.

Office of Farm Worker Ministry – Thirty migrant farm worker children will attend a three-week multicultural camp facilitated by AmeriCorps volunteers. In the “Around the World in 10 Days” camp, students explore a different country each day — its music, art, sports, food and customs.

Living Hope International Ministry – Twenty children in Orange County whose mothers reside at Living Hope International Ministry will attend the “Children of Hope Summer Bling Program.” The eight-week program consists of arts and crafts, activities with their parents, tutoring in math and reading, field trips and exploring music.

Salvation Army – This donation will help 20 kids with challenges in reading attend an eight-week camp. Most of these young people do not have a book in their home setting. The camp is designed to get them engaged in reading.

Boys/Girls Club of Osceola County – At least 50 kids will have the opportunity to attend the After School Zone, a 10-week program for middle school students giving them the opportunity to play sports, participate in field trips, use a computer lab and receive mentoring by positive role models.

American Red Cross – The Disney “Summer FUNds donation” will allow 200 inner-city youth from kindergarten through second grade to receive swimming lessons.

Central Florida YMCA – About 20 youth in Osceola County will be able to attend the summer program that the YMCA offers. Camp activities consist of archery, nature projects, community service projects and character and value development.

Walt Disney World Co. extends a caring hand to the children of our community.  Our programs and partnerships help to build better futures for our children and, ultimately, a stronger community for us all.  It is the goal of DisneyHand—Helping Kids Shine to engage children in society by creating healthy, guiding relationships with adults, providing constructive free time activities, offering character-building opportunities, and encouraging a sense of compassion for others, while helping those children who face adversity.