One of the traits of a military veteran is commitment to service, whether it’s country or community. With that in mind, members of our Disney SALUTE veterans diversity groups made up of cast members who served in the military or veteran friends and family in both Orlando and Anaheim volunteered to bring some magic. holidays in their respective communities.
In Orlando, SALUTE VolunTEARS representing Walt Disney World Resort and members of the Disney Signature Experience cast visited the Orlando Fisher House and decorated it for the holidays with beautiful decorations that Disney World had given them to liven up the holidays at 16 special families. The Fisher House serves as an out-of-home home for military and veteran families, where they stay free while their loved one receives medical treatment at the nearby Lake Nona VA Hospital. The team also made holiday cookies for the resident veteran families staying there by bringing a little extra magic to these families.
“It was wonderful to welcome SALUTE VoluntEARS back to Fisher House this year,” said Tim Cooke, general manager of Lake Nona VA Hospital. “You’ll never know what it means to have you and your HEALTH VoluntEARS decorating the Fisher House for loved ones and veterans who will be staying here during the holidays.”
In Anaheim, at the Disneyland Resort, Disney SALUTE VoluntEARS and the U.S. Marines came together to lend a hand on the Disney Ultimate Toy Drive that supports Toys for All in the preview of the “A Christmas Fantasy” show for cast members from Disneyland Resort on Tuesday, November 9th.
Applause echoed through the crowd as cast members entered the event and headed to the toy collection bins to donate a new unpacked toy. HEALTH VoluntEARS and the U.S. Marines in attendance thanked each member of the cast who gave to the cause, sharing that each toy would go to a child who needed it and support their local community.
As the sgt. Deleon Powell, a 10-year-old Toys for All coordinator for Orange County, thanked the cast for their donations and described the experience as her team delivered toys donated to families before Christmas Day. Christmas. “We love to see the smiles on their faces when they get toys, and that wouldn’t happen without Disney and the cast members,” he said. Sgt. Powell recalled a special moment he shared when he handed a toy to a child a few years ago. “He looked at me and said ‘thank you sir, I want to be like you when I grow up.’ [Marines] it may have a hard exterior, but internally it melted my heart, “said Sergeant Powell.
Disneyland Resort’s SALUTE team supports Toy for All in Anaheim
Sgt. Brian Lima, a 6-year-old sailor and new member of Toys for All, was excited to take part in this year’s event thanks to his connection to charity work. “Returning has always been something that has been a part of my life. Being involved in Toys for All makes me feel good; [it’s]
knowing that at the end of the day, there are less fortunate children and we can put smiles on their faces. That’s why I live, ”he said. Sgt. Lima.
Together with the U.S. Marines, SALUTE VoluntEARS shared the excitement and joy of the event.
Ariel Elias, a Navy veteran and leader of HEALTH VoluntEARS, had the honor of participating in this event with his co-stars. “This is a very special opportunity to join [together] with Toys for Tots, which has a long history of helping children during the holidays, ”said Ariel. “Making a difference in the life of an only child during the holidays is personal to me. I have been sent abroad and I have seen how the children need our help. I’m happy to do what I can to contribute as part of the SALUTE VoluntEARS team, ”Ariel said.
Thank you to all of the US HEALTH Volunteers and Marines for your courage and dedication, and your support in providing toys to children in need.
As a company founded by two brothers who served their nation during World War I, The Walt Disney Company has a long tradition of supporting the U.S. Armed Forces. The selflessness of the many heroes working at Disney is demonstrated through HEALTH, which not only serves to support fellow cast members, but also the military and veteran community at large, such as Fisher House or Toy for All, through volunteering.