To celebrate the grand opening of Shanghai Disney Resort, The Walt Disney Company today announced a $3.1 million USD (RMB 20 million) donation to fund Disney-themed play spaces and therapeutic play activities at children’s hospitals across China.
Disney Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Bob Iger announced the gift at the Shanghai Children’s Medical Center. Over the course of the five-year program, the donation will provide more than 50 hospitals in China with play rooms and therapeutic play activities. Disney will also donate Shanghai Disneyland theme park tickets to support children and their families as they undergo and recover from treatment.
“In honor of the grand opening of Shanghai Disney Resort, we are creating a bit of Disney magic where it is needed most. With our gift of 20 million RMB and tickets to our new theme park, we hope to bring happiness and laughter to children and families in hospitals across the country by creating opportunities to play and spend quality time together,” Iger said.
The donation will be administered by the Shanghai Charity Foundation for children’s hospitals in and around Shanghai, and by the China Soong Ching Ling Foundation for hospitals in the rest of China. The play curriculum and training will be designed and implemented by Right To Play, a non-profit organization that uses the transformative power of play to educate and empower children to overcome adversity.
“Over the past few years, the Shanghai Children’s Medical Center has built several children’s play spaces with support from The Walt Disney Company,” said Jiang Zhongyi, Director of Shanghai Children’s Medical Center. “This new fund not only showcases Disney’s social responsibility and support for children, but also helps promote innovative new therapeutic play concepts that are helping transform children’s healthcare.”
Disney’s support of children’s hospitals dates back to the 1930s when Walt Disney would visit with children, often accompanied by Disney characters and animators. Today that support includes millions of dollars in annual grants and donations that provide play spaces, theme park tickets, first-run movies, care packages, in-kind support, and hospital visits from beloved Disney characters.
Disney has already supported several children’s hospitals in Shanghai through the development of play spaces, play therapy training, and character visits. Disney VoluntEARS have made more than 150 hospital visits and benefited more than 12,000 children and their families.