because of a Disney program to donate toys to the Fred Jordan Mission of
On Wednesday, officials from Disney handed over a massive pile of toys
to the mission, a stack that included not only dozens of Droolers, but
also scores of plush Piglets, Tiggers and other creatures.
This is the 10th year Disney and its employees have made such a
donation to the mission, McCarthy said.
"Every year it gets bigger in terms of our employee participation and
in terms of what the company can contribute."
Tom Jordan, executive vice president of the mission, said the toys --
along with items contributed by other corporate sponsors and volunteers
-- will be distributed Sunday at the mission's annual Christmas party for
"We average between two and three gifts per child," he said. The
mission also distributes blankets and sacks of food.
About 15,000 children come to the Christmas event, a number that
Jordan said is encouraging in some ways and worrisome in others.
Though he's happy to be able to serve so many people, Jordan said he's
concerned about the large demand for help at holiday time.
"The gap between the rich and the poor continues to widen," he said,
something he felt would change only when people from lower income levels
"can get a step up."
Since the 1980s, the number of people served at the holiday party has
increased by more than a third, he said.
McCarthy said Disney's involvement with the program was growing along
with the demand for help.
This year, she noted, 15 employees who serve in the company's
mentoring program, along with their charges, will attend the party to
help with distribution.
Admittedly, McCarthy said, the involvement with the mission is "a very
big community relations effort." But she said it's also an attempt to
exercise corporate responsibility.
"We're a company with the resources, abilities and desire to share
with our local community," she said.