Archive for May 23rd, 2012
This year the Walt Disney Company’s Helping Kids Shine programme has given a record $1.5 million to non-profits in Central Florida, and today’s Orlando Sentinel reports that a major recipient was the charity Quest, which received a cheque for $55,000 and a Mouse statuette – the latter is in memory of the former Walt Disney World Vice-President, the late Bob Allen, who was especially noted for his generosity to the community.
Quest helps people of all ages with disabilities, but the programme receiving the grant money focuses specifically on young people: it aims to help children with autism develop computer skills. Many of them apparently find it less stressful to relate to computers than to people, and it is hoped that through the programme some will eventually be inspired to pursue related careers or further studies. This is felt to be increasingly vital as one in every 88 children are now affected to some degree by autism and ways need to be found of helping them develop towards productive adult lives.
Although Walt Disney himself began his company’s tradition of encouraging people to contribute positively to their communities, the Helping Kids Shine grants started in 2004. They recognise and support community efforts focusing on children and adults supporting them and helping them thrive as “healthy, productive, compassionate, and capable citizens, able to reach their highest potential”.
Other grant recipients this year have included the local Make-A-Wish Foundation, Big Brothers Big Sisters, the Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Florida, the Coalition for the Homeless, as well as many arts and education charities.
Applicants for grants are expected to:
- Strengthen a child’s character through healthy living habits, responsible behaviours, and compassion for others.
- Inspire, motivate, and lead children on a path to artistic discovery, new experiences, and exciting possibilities.
- Promote self-sufficiency by responding to critical social needs that impact children and families.
- Positively affect the destiny of (our) youngest citizens and those who support them, leading to a stronger community for all.