Disney VoluntEARS Collect Nearly 30,000 Toys For Local Children

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla., Dec. 8, 2011 – Walt Disney World VoluntEARS reported for duty this morning on a joint mission with the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve and Mickey Mouse to contribute to the local Toys for Tots campaign.

During the past month, Walt Disney World Cast Members collected more toys than ever before – delivering nearly 30,000 new books, games and other children’s gifts for the annual drive, which benefits children in Orange and Seminole County. Several U.S. Marines helped Mickey Mouse and Disney VoluntEARS unload the first delivery of toys to the Toys For Tots warehouse today.

Since 1947, Toys For Tots has been sending a message of hope to youngsters by ensuring they have at least one new gift to open during the holidays.

“We hope that by donating toys and giving our time to Toys For Tots, we can make the holidays a little merrier for the children in our community,” said Nancy Gidusko, director of Community Relations.  

In addition to donating toys, Disney VoluntEARS are spending more than 4,500 hours at the Toys For Tots warehouse sorting donations.

“With the amount of Central Florida families in need, the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve is grateful for all the donations we collect so that each child receives at least one toy,” said Cpl. Anthony Ruggiero. “Without Disney, we wouldn’t be able to help as many families as we do each year.”

Disney’s involvement with Toys for Tots began more than 60 years ago when Walt Disney and his animators designed the original Toys for Tots logo, which the campaign still uses. Today, the Walt Disney World Resort focuses its charitable support on organizations and programs like Toys For Tots that make a positive impact on local children. The company makes its impact through the outreach efforts of Disney VoluntEARS, collaboration with local community leaders and millions of dollars in cash and in-kind support to organizations in our community.

The annual toy drive is one of many charitable activities underway at Walt Disney World Resort during the “Season of Sharing” that focuses on improving the lives of local children and their families during the holidays and beyond. To learn more, visit wdwnews.com and click Public Affairs.