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DisneyHand's 'Season of Compassion' Reaches More Children Than Ever Before with Special Episode of ABC's 'Extreme Makeover: Home Edition,' Help from 'The Tony Danza Show' and $3 Million Merchandise Donation to Children's Hospitals

Submitted by: Disney Corporate Citizenship

Categories: Philanthropy & Corporate Contributions

Posted: Mar 08, 2005 – 11:00 PM EST


Mar. 08 /CSRwire/ - BURBANK, Calif. - DisneyHand, worldwide outreach for The Walt Disney Company, continued its "Season of Compassion" with its annual delivery of DisneyHand Compassion Kits to every children's hospital and pediatric wing in the country. This year, however, DisneyHand was able to touch the lives of more children than ever before with help from ABC's "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" and
"The Tony Danza Show."

Eight-year-old Kassandra Okvath has battled cancer for nearly two years. In the video she sent to "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition," Kassandra's selfless request on behalf of the children struggling with illness at University Medical Center in Tuscon, Arizona, where she received two bone marrow transplants, was for the walls of the hospital to be painted because "Sometimes that's the last things they see."

DisneyHand granted Kassandra's wish, making the hospital transformation possible by bringing together a generous donation of goods and creative services by Disney Consumer Products, Disney Imagineers and the work of other talented Disney Cast Members. More than 50 Disney VoluntEARS, employees who donate their time to make a positive difference in communities around the world, worked day and night to meet the five-day deadline for the hospital makeover.

The collective efforts resulted in six of the patient rooms in the Bone Marrow Transplant (BMT) ward, as well as two playrooms, being transformed into warm, welcoming themed environments featuring beloved Disney characters as well as movies, video games, toys, Disney TV and DVD players and Disney Dream Desk PCs. The hospital transformation, and more surprises, will be shown in two back-to-back episodes on Sunday, March 13 (7:00-8:00 and 8:00-9:00 p.m., ET/PT), on the ABC Television Network.

In addition to working with Extreme Makeover Home Edition, DisneyHand's "Season of Compassion" received support from "The Tony Danza Show." Tony, along with Disney VoluntEARS, helped to raise awareness of Starlight Starbright Children's Foundation by kicking off a special hospital delivery on air. "Celebrity Extravadanza" segments featuring superstar Barry Manilow, comedian Rosie O'Donnell, actresses Marilu Henner and Sigourney Weaver, and New York Yankee Manager Joe Torre raised $50,000 for Starlight Starbright.

Also, in cooperation with Starlight Starbright Children's Foundation®, DisneyHand made its annual donation of a "Compassion Care Kit" to every children's hospital or pediatric wing in the country with 25 or more beds. Each of the DisneyHand Compassion Kits feature Mickey Mouse plush for every child in the hospital, as well as books, movies, video games, music and board games. Each has enough merchandise to fully stock a hospital room, waiting room, children's play room or other appropriate venue.

To coincide with the deliveries, special parties were held in many cities, some featured Disney character visits provided by Disney On Ice while some featured a Radio Disney appearance. Disney VoluntEARS were also on hand with special activities and fun prizes.

As the cornerstone of DisneyHand's outreach initiatives, Compassion programs encompass all projects that not only touch the lives of children, but also touch the heart. In addition to Starlight Starbright Children's Foundation, DisneyHand works with the Make-A-Wish Foundation of America® and is the world's largest provider of wishes for children with life-threatening illnesses. DisneyHand's Compassion outreach also includes significant support for Give Kids the World, Toys for Tots, Boys & Girls Clubs, the American Red Cross and First Book.

About DisneyHand
DisneyHand, worldwide outreach for The Walt Disney Company, is dedicated to making the dreams of families and children a reality through public service initiatives, community outreach and volunteerism in the areas of compassion, learning, the arts and the environment. In 2004, DisneyHand contributed more than $165 million in cash, in-kind support and public service airtime globally, while Disney VoluntEARS contributed more than 461,000 hours to 1,852 outreach projects. For more information, visit www.disneyhand.com.

For more information, please contact:

Maria Gladowski Disney Worldwide Outreach
Phone: 818-560-6360

For more from this organization:

Disney Corporate Citizenship


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