Last month, I had the pleasure of chatting with Emily Lartigue, a Walt Disney World cast member who was furloughed earlier this year. Emily started The Cast Member Pantry, a fantastic resource to assist with gathering and distributing donated food items to other furloughed cast members who might need help. Read the interview to learn more about the ways you can help. We’re also happy to share that work is being done to set up and provide this same benefit in Anaheim to furloughed and laid off Disneyland cast members. We’ll be sure to share all the details once they’re announced.
Here’s a little update from Emily who shared what a recent delivery looks like!
With last week’s sad news announcing the layoffs of 28,000 additional Disney cast members, we want to take a few moments today to share some of the additional ways that you can support these amazing folks. These cast members have been making magic happen for years and they have brought so much joy to our beloved Disney vacations. The sheer number of passionate cast members it takes to bring everything together in the theme parks and resorts is truly astounding and it’s now our turn to do whatever we can to help them in their time of need.
Not only do so many of these talented folks have Etsy shops where they sell incredibly creative items they’ve made, but some of them are also mechanics, plumbers, and more. In fact, our own Kathy Werling's son started a group on Facebook – Disney Cast Members Pay It Forward – where he's encouraging folks to hire a fellow cast member for services, to bring attention to someone in need, or simply to help one another during this tough time.
Take a look at this spreadsheet that was put together by @thethemeparkettes, a member of THE CARLYE WISEL COOL-TIME INTERNET VIRTUAL HANG OUT PARTY group on Facebook for a list of some of the small businesses that are owned by Disney cast members. Another awesome spreadsheet with even more cast member-owned small businesses can be found HERE – this one was put together by @tiffmink. If you’re a Disney cast member, please note that there is information detailing how to have your small business added to these lists and be sure to check back often as the list is not exhaustive and new shops/sites are being added regularly.
If you have information on additional resources for furloughed and laid off cast members, please share in the comments below or send an email to [email protected].