ORLANDO, Fla. — Walt Disney World uses a lot of its magic to shape and influence our community through service.
Its commitment is far-reaching, sometimes touching those at a young age.
What You Need To Know
- Disney World awards 15 students across Central Florida each year for community service
- Disney's "Dreamers and Doers" and "Shining Star" awards
- Just last year, Disney gave more than $333 million in donations to kids, families and communities across the world
- LIVE UPDATES: Disney World set to celebrate half a century in Central Florida
Disney’s "Dreamers and Doers" and "Shining Star" awards recognize exceptional community service from Central Florida students.
Jamauri Sands created a food pantry at his middle school a few years back.
"Every time I take it out — first most, it's just a blessing," he said, reflecting on his award.
The prestigious award is only given to 15 students across Central Florida each year, honoring incredible service.
But for Sands, his golden Mickey Mouse statue marks only the beginning.
"I always remind myself to keep pushing, anything that I do," he said.
The same can be said for the project he started: a food pantry inside Carver Middle School that is still going strong today.
In fact, it has grown since Sands started it and continues to serve dozens of students and families in need.
"It's just amazing that one individual can create something that serves so many people," said Sands' former middle school principal, Jackie Ramsay.
It's part of an even bigger picture: the mission of Second Harvest Food Bank, which also has a longstanding connection with Walt Disney World.
"For at least 30 years, Walt Disney World's been a partner of Second Harvest Food Bank," said Greg Higgerson, chief development officer at Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida. "In fact, some of our earliest programs around prepared and perishable food, we were partners with them."
Walt Disney officials say charity is a big part of the mission of the mouse.
Just last year, the company gave more than $333 million in donations to kids, families and communities across the world.
Sands' work may just be one small drop in the company's "giving back bucket," but he said he'll always be committed to bettering himself, bettering others and bettering his community.
The Walt Disney World Resort’s Harvest Program collects and distributes more than 823,000 pounds of prepared food each year.