Cast Members Donate 3.1 Million School Supplies
Walt Disney World cast members were busy earlier this month with a back-to-school supply drive to raise supplies for low-income families in central Florida. Their efforts were a success with over 3 million items, including some 13,000 backpacks, collected. In fact, the amount of pencils, erasers, crayons, rulers and the like collected by the cast members over a three-week period was enough to fill five school buses.
The school supplies will help fill a growing need, acording to Orange County superintendent Barbara Jenkins:
These supplies mean so much to our schools and to the students. We ended last school year with nearly 5,000 students whose families were homeless, and that number will likely climb in the coming school year. Other families are struggling to make ends meet, so school supplies can't be their priority.
Disney, with its long-standing tradition of giving back to the community, was happy to help. According to Disney's director of community relations, Nancy Gidusko:
With the Back-to-School drive, our mission is to help set students up for success, even if it is one pencil at a time. We not only want to make a difference for the students, but also inspire others to support and nurture the children who are the future of our community.
The supplies will go to low-income students in Orange, Osceola, Seminole, Lake and Polk counties. The Disney back-to-school supply drive has been every summer since 2005; last year's haul included 2.1 million items.