“You can design and create, and build the most wonderful place in the world. But it takes people to make the dream a reality.” -Walt Disney
Nearly 32,000 Cast Members have been or will be laid off from Disneyland and Walt Disney World. Thousands more are still on furlough due to continued closures. Add to that those impacted by the reduced demand for the surrounding hotels and restaurants that depend on tourism to survive.
It is gut wrenching to realize the people who have made our trips to Disneyland so special are out of work during the holidays.
Cast Members are essential to the Disney experience and have made countless memories for me and my family over the years. You probably feel the same way if you are reading this. Now there is an actionable way to show our appreciation.
Join me to support Second Harvest Food Bank of Orange County
I am asking you to join me in donating to the Second Harvest Food Bank of Orange County to support the tourism and hospitality workers of Orange County.
What you need to know:
- Second Harvest is a nonprofit organization that distributes millions of meals each year to help fight hunger in Orange County
- Second Harvest is a nationally recognized 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization with the top score from Charity Navigator and is part of the Feeding America network of charities
- Your donation can have a massive impact on helping fight hunger in Orange County–just $1 helps to serve 3 meals to someone in need
- From March through June, 4 in 10 people visiting food banks were there for the first time
- Second Harvest isn’t specific to hospitality, but they have had a long relationship with Disneyland–when Disneyland closed back in March, Disney donated their extra food to the organization
I am setting the goal to raise $2,000 to support Second Harvest over the next week. I have personally donated $200 to get the ball rolling. Let’s blow by that goal.
Please send this article to anyone else who has great memories from Disneyland and Walt Disney World and wants to support the Disney Cast Members this holiday season.
This effort is partially inspired by my friends Tom and Sarah Bricker of the Disney Tourist Blog who successfully raised $60,000 for Second Harvest in Central Florida. I hope we can have the same great success for Orange County in California.
Seeing successes like theirs and other altruistic fundraisers throughout COVID help to remind us of the power that we all have to stand up and make a difference by showing our support and donating what we can.
There are a couple of other organizations that I want to feature that are helping Cast Members on both coasts:
- Second Harvest Food Bank in Central Florida is the Central Florida chapter of the organization we are supporting in Orange County. They also do great work helping to provide millions of meals each year. (You can donate via Tom and Sarah Bricker’s page here.)
- Cast Member Pantry is an organization founded by a furloughed Walt Disney World Cast Member back in March. They make it easy for furloughed Disney World Cast Members to receive free food essentials.
- Various Unions including the California Workers United Local 50 and Florida UNITE HERE! Local 737 have also been supporting furloughed Cast Members with food pickup options.
If you have any other organizations that you think should be highlighted here, please comment below and I will update this section.
It is my sincerest hope that all of the Cast Members on furlough and laid off will have the opportunity to return in the near future as the Disney Parks reopen and we all get back to the Happiest Place on Earth. Until then, join me to support the Cast Members and members of our community that need it most. If you have had an incredible Cast Member experience, please join me.
This is an opportunity for action after a long year of sitting on the sidelines. We can all step up and act to support a community that has shown us so much warmth as Disney fans.
Thank you for your support,
Gavin Doyle and the entire Mickey Visit team
All of the great photos showcasing Cast Members used throughout the article come from David Yeh, aka @coheteboy on Instagram. Check out his account for more great shots from the parks.
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