When Tom and Sarah Bricker, the couple who runs the Disney Tourist Blog, discovered the people who run their favorite theme park were in need, they couldn’t stand idly by.
Like many destinations that revolve around tourism, food and large crowds, the “Most Magical Place on Earth” has been among businesses struggling since the pandemic began. In March, Disney World parks in Orlando, Florida were forced to close for nearly four months before reopening in July. Disney Land in Anaheim, California has remained closed.
While its parks were shut down, the company temporarily furloughed thousands of workers with continued health benefits. They brought back as many as they could when they could, but with parks still no where near capacity and tourism still very much down, on Sept. 29th, Disney laid off 28,000 employees across its parks, experiences and consumer products segment.
“These are the jobs of 28,000 people. The real-world impact of this is colossal on those individuals and their families, and again, I cannot fathom how devastating this must be,” the Brickers wrote on their blog followed by a call to action. “Even before the latest round of Walt Disney World layoffs, there had already been a devastating and lasting impact on those who work in the travel and tourism industries.”
The Brickers decided that to help they would set up a virtual fundraiser to a nearby food bank called Second Harvest, one that has been very active in the Central Florida community during the pandemic. It started with them making a $500 donation and asking their readers to match it. And then, like something straight out of a storybook, people around the country were inspired to help the many affected workers who had dedicated their lives to making people happy.
As of Monday, Erika Spence, a spokesperson for Second Harvest of Central Florida said the Brickers’ fundraiser had climbed to $47,000! She added that it is the largest virtual food drive in the history of Second Harvest, and it’s still growing. According to Spence, every dollar raised allows the organization to purchase four meals for families.
With the funds raised, they’ll be able to provide 188,000 meals. If you would like to read more about the Brickers’ efforts, you can check out your Good News Story of the Day here. if you would like to find other ways to help these Cast Members consider looking into the Cast Members Pantry. “So many Cast Members have made so much magic for all of us over the years, and this should help to begin to repay a little of that,” the Brickers said.
Disney Cast Members are known for going out of their way, above and beyond, to make the Disney experience magical for guests who come through. From balloons, to stickers, to cookies and beyond, gifts and boons are handed out by these employees just to bring a smile. It’s nice to see that effort to kindness getting repaid.
Story and Image from Today.