Disney Helping Kids Shine Program Invests $1.5 Million to Support Kids


Filed in: About WDW, Making a Difference

70,000 Central Florida Children Expected to Benefit 

ORLANDO, Fla., May 21, 2012 — Walt Disney World Cast Members wrapped up a $1.5 million charitable giving spree today with a special visit to Quest, which received $55,000 from the Disney Helping Kids Shine grants program.

As the recipient of the Bob Allen Outstanding Community Service Award, Quest is one of 59 organizations recognized by Disney this past week for their efforts to encourage creativity, innovation and compassion in children. The top application-based grant will help Quest introduce the world of media arts to children with special needs. Quest’s Shaping Kids’ Future Media Arts Program is designed to teach youth interactive design and expose them to future careers in the arts.

“It is humbling and a great honor to receive this top award from Walt Disney World to launch our ‘Shaping Kids’ Future’ media arts program,” said Katie Porta, president of Quest. “This life-changing program will not only engage children with disabilities in creative and innovative ways, but will also help them build the real-world skills they need for brighter lives and future success.’

Combined, Disney Helping Kids Shine grants are expected to enrich the lives of an estimated 70,000 children in Orange, Osceola, Seminole, Lake and Polk counties.

“As a company with 64,000 Cast Members who live, work and play in Central Florida, Walt Disney World Resort is committed to investing in our community,” said Nancy Gidusko, director of community relations for Walt Disney World Resort. ”We’re happy to recognize and reward organizations like Quest that truly make difference in the lives of Central Florida’s children.”

Walt Disney World annually gives Disney Helping Kids Shine Grants to help support local organizations actively involved in building strong futures for children. This year’s grant recipients were selected by a 15-member committee that included community leaders, educators and Cast Members. Some of their selections include:

  • Osceola County Historical Society, which received a grant to support summer educational camps for children to strengthen creativity skills, foster new relationships, and develop an appreciation for their community.
  • Safehouse of Seminole, which offers hope and caring for young victims of domestic violence through the Safekid Program
  • Young Fathers of Central Florida, for its Teen Fatherhood Academy. The program focuses on character development and training program for teen fathers.

Details on all 2012 Disney Helping Kids Shine recipients, along with prize patrol reports and pictures are available at www.waltdisneyworld.com/about.

Click here for a complete list of the 2012 Disney Helping Kids Shine Grant recipients.