Walt Disney World and the U.S. Marine Corps have teamed up to make the holiday season special for a lot of families. Together, the two delivered tens of thousands of toys to the Toys for Tots warehouse at Plaza del Sol in Kissimmee on Thursday, Dec. 7.
“Our goal this year is to ensure that every child has a toy at Christmas,” said Sgt. Ash Jacques, U.S. Marine Corps Reserve and 2018 Toys for Tots assistant coordinator (Seminole, Orange and Osceola counties). “Walt Disney World has been kind enough to put on this event today.”
There are approximately 30,000 children in Central Florida registered to receive toys from Toys for Tots this season, up from last year’s number.
One of the biggest employers known, Walt Disney World has accepted toys donated by its Cast Members (employees) in part of toy drives throughout all of its property.
“Over the course of this year only we have donated nearly 30,000 toys to this amazing program,” said Stephen Lim, Walt Disney World ambassador. “We really know as Cast Members how important it is for kids to have that extra special smile during the holiday season.”
The toys were then delivered in Minnie Vans — an exclusive Disney driving service, partnered with Lyft, which usually takes guests around Walt Disney World Resort in red SUVs that are covered in white polka dots, themed to Minnie Mouse herself.
Thirty-five of Disney’s VoluntEARS were in attendance for the delivery, in honor of the program’s 35th anniversary. This year alone, Disney’s VoluntEARS have dedicated more than 3,000 hours of volunteer service to Toys for Tots.
In the last 15 years, more than 425,000 toys have been donated by Cast Members through toy collection drives throughout Walt Disney World.
Registered Toys for Tots families can pick up their toys the week prior to Christmas.
For more information, to donate or to register, visit https://www.toysfortots.org.