Last 21 December, 250 children enjoyed a Christmas brunch and concert at the heart of Disneyland® Paris and received gifts from the solidarity collection backstage.
From 23rd November to 14th December 2015, the Action Citoyenne department organised a collection of toys through our holiday destination’s backstage, a call which resonated among the teams who were especially involved this year. Numerous teams took up the challenge and many Cast Members took action to make their colleagues aware of the collection, from Park Operations to the Hotels and Disney Village.
Guillaume Abraini became part of the reception team in Disneyland Hotel last July and as a hands-on Disney VoluntEAR, he wanted to get his new colleagues involved in this collection. “After seeing the information on The Hub, I suggested to my management that a decorated box be put in place to motivate my colleagues to participate in this collection, I was the point person, as it were, of this Christmas Mission within my team” Guillaume revealed. The aim was to fill the box with gifts and this was achieved very quickly. “I was really proud to see the generosity of my colleagues in action!“ he concluded.
Olivier Bayoud, from the Plaza West and East boutique complex, Ribbons and Storybook Store, wanted to get his teams involved as soon as he saw the announcement. He worked on a presentation that the team leaders could share in briefings and the responses to it were beyond all expectations. In just a few days, 128 participants had already left their presents.“This unity on a common cause really touched me, instead of selling dreams as we say in the stores, it was our turn to give!” he revealed.
These toys sat in Santa Claus’ sack until this morning when the children from the inter-municipal grouping (SAN of Val d’Europe) associations received them from the Disney VoluntEARS as part of a morning of celebrations. “Our mission is to make children’s dreams come true and to bring them joy, by encouraging them to develop their creativity so that they can create the future they dream of. It is in this vision that we came up with this festive event bring hope to many” said Annabel Altman, Senior Manager of Action Citoyenne. “I would like to take the occasion to thank the many teams who took part in the Christmas Mission collection without whom the sack of this event would not have been so full!“
The Action Citoyenne team and the Disney VoluntEARS pulled out all the stops to give the children a great welcome at Billy Bob’s Western Saloon on 21st December. Lots of fun workshops were run by the Cast Members who came during their free time to share in the spirit of the festivities with the children, with personalisation of Christmas tree branches, the concoction of cocktails, greeting cards, fruit carving, and balloons, etc., there was certainly no lack of activities! UNICEF volunteers also attended the event. “The Disney VoluntEARS help us all year long, we have a wonderful history with Disneyland Paris. We are delighted to be here.” said Christine Chevalier, publicity and special events manager UNICEF France.
Our Disneyland Paris Ambassadors, Sonia Demay and Romina Grochow, were the masters of ceremonies on stage for a Christmas show specially put together for the children. They then danced and sang with Kids United (who have just gone platinum for the first time) and Yann’Sine Jebli (The Voice). The morning came to a close with the distribution of gifts from the Christmas Mission collection which our Senior Vice President & Chief Operating Officer, Daniel Delcourt and his teams attended. “I couldn’t have imagined a more inclusive and worthwhile activity for my teams than these end of year festivities. Giving up their time for the community is part of the values which motivate all of our employees, whatever their role or level of rank may be” he remarked.
Straightaway the gifts delighted the children, whose eyes lit up. They then had the chance to visit the Parks to begin this Christmas week with magic glistening in their eyes.