While the last year and a half has been a challenge for many, people across the country have intensified in remarkable ways. Doctors went beyond the demand of duty to make sure their patients felt safe in a time of uncertainty; high school students set aside fun after school to help members of the elderly community and neighbors from all corners of the country responded to the call to help no one in their neighborhood be left behind . The Disney Magic Makers contest was created to shed light on all the good people who awaken everyday magic.
Magic comes in all shapes and sizes, from simple and sincere acts between neighbors to massive acts of kindness and generosity. To honor their contributions, Disney sought out the nation to find 50 amazing Disney magic creators and rewarded them with a trip to Walt Disney World Resort to celebrate its 50th anniversary.th anniversary and a one-year subscription to Disney +.
The 50 Disney Magic Makers chosen reminded us that we all have the power to make a difference. The friendship of two women in Ohio sparked a vaccination revolution for seniors and at-risk members; local heroes in Utah, Illinois, and California demonstrated that one person’s good deeds can affect an entire community; a high school student in Ohio and a college student in Rhode Island showed that you are never too young to raise awareness about a cause; Fozzie Bear, the Muppets’ quipster, even received a nomination for bringing magic to his teammates; and in celebration of the world’s first week of princesses, we discovered women from all corners of the nation whose acts of service embodied the temperament of a Disney hero. And that was just the tip of the iceberg.
Today, Walt Disney World Resort begins the 50th celebration and new Disney magic makers have been chosen to change the lives of people in their community.
James Gordon works as principal at Oak Grove / Bellemeade Elementary School, where he serves predominantly black families south of Richmond, VA. To ensure no family went hungry, James organized food gatherings and distributed whole turkey meals to families during Thanksgiving for over three years. In addition, James developed the AAA (Attitude, Attendance, and Achievement) program with the goal of encouraging students to strive for excellence. But his most notable contribution is awarding five elementary school students from low-income families with full scholarships to Virginia Union University, an HBCU in Richmond. Disney was so inspired by James ’goodwill that we took him to Walt Disney World Resort to surprise him with the news that we have given an additional $ 50,000 to his college fund to help him continue the good work.
We’ve always believed that the members of our cast were the original magic creators and that chef Ashley Keyes of Atlanta, GA, was a former cooking fellow who continued to spread magic long after she left Disney. Ashley’s passion for life is to feed and serve people and she is now the executive chef of CHOICES (The Center Helping Obesity In Children End Success Success, Inc.), where she offers free cooking classes for families of her community and environments. Ashley also organizes mobile food distributions. Since the pandemic, it has distributed 20,000 pounds of food to more than 500 families each month.
Lauren Page of Miami, Florida, considered that all children should have access to literature. He founded Page by Page and has so far distributed more than $ 1.5 million in books to more than 450,000 disadvantaged children around the world. In May 2020, during the pandemic, Lauren delivered more than 30,000 books to the doors of children who were at home without Internet access and provided books for the public to take to the COVID-19 testing facilities.
These Disney magic creators, and the thousands of stories that haven’t been heard yet, all had one thing in common: they wanted to help. Although the contest is over, the footprint these people have left will inspire communities for years to come.