How to support Disney Cast Members who need our help now more than ever.
There’s no denying these are trying times, especially for the tens of thousands of Cast Members who have been laid off or furloughed across Walt Disney World and Disneyland.
Cast Members are what make visits to the parks so special. Their talent, dedication, and hard work bring the parks to life. Some of your favorite performers were impacted.
Because they deserve all of the love and support, here are some ways to assist those Cast Members who need it.
1. CAST MEMBER PANTRY
The Cast Member Pantry is a great resource that can be found on Facebook.
Founded by furloughed Cast Member Emily Lartigue, the organization gathers and distributes everyday essentials, like food, to fellow WDW Cast Members in need.
There are several ways to give back to the pantry:
- Send a monetary donation via Venmo (username @castmemberpantry) that will be used to buy groceries for Cast Members
- If you are local to the parks, Volunteer to work Saturday shifts to hand out food packages to Cast Members
- Donate food, but donating the equivalent in cash is always a better way to support food banks
In donating to Cast Member Pantry, you’ll be in good company! WDW Magazine has donated, and Olaf himself, Josh Gad, recently showed his support:
You can also browse the Amazon Wishlist that has grocery items listed that are used for the pantry’s “FastPass bags.”
As reported by The DIS, there is also a Cast Member Pantry being set up to provide the same type of services to Disneyland Cast Members and those in the Anaheim area.
2. EAR FOR EACH OTHER ON FACEBOOK
Ear For Each Other is another Facebook group that is supporting furloughed Cast Members by allowing them to share their “side hustle or get ideas on how to keep the lights on during this difficult time.”
Even if you’re not a Cast Member, you can join as a community member, but the admins ask that you not advertise on the page; simply support those who need it.
After scrolling, you’ll see that there are so many talented Cast Members who have small shops, businesses, and talents.
From baking to candle-making, to designing accessories and apparel, to woodworking skills, these Cast Members provide all kinds of services.
3. SUPPORT CM SMALL SHOPS
Courtesy of Tiffany Mink, you can even check out a lengthy Google Spreadsheet.
It is essentially a guide to small shops and services provided by Cast Members who remain furloughed or have been laid off.
4. PAY IT FORWARD
Another worthy Facebook group to join is Disney Cast Members Pay It Forward.
The group encourages others to hire fellow Cast Members for services and to highlight those who need help.
They have this spreadsheet going of ways to reach out and support, including how to send Cast Member a care package for their pets.
5. GIVE BACK DURING THANKSGIVING
Castgiving is giving free Thanksgiving baskets this year to current and former Cast Members.
If there is ever a time when a little help would keep spirits up, it’s the holidays. You can donate and help here.
6. DONATE TO THESE FOOD BANKS
You can also donate to organizations, including:
- Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida
- Second Harvest Food Bank Orange County
- Unite Here 737: A union representing workers in Walt Disney World Food & Beverage and Housekeeping and many other Orlando workers. Be sure to keep an eye on their Facebook page for food bank locations.
- Workers United Local 50: A union representing food service workers at Disneyland Resort. They also started a Cast Member food bank. They share information about their food banks on Facebook.
Remember, we never know what people are truly experiencing or enduring, so always be kind. Thank Cast Members, lend a helping hand, or even leave a Cast Compliment at Guest Services.
During these times of uncertainty, we all need to lift each other up and Cast Members could definitely use more than a little pixie dust from us now more than ever.