Disney Bloggers Raise More than $47,000 for Community Following Mass Layoffs at Parks

"Please join us in helping to give back to those who have made so much magic for us all over the years."

The entrance to Disney World is deserted on the first day of COVID-19 Shutdown
Photo: SOPA Images/Getty Images

In the almost 10 years that Sarah and Tom Bricker have been covering all things Disney World, the Central Florida couple has become deeply invested in the hardworking men and women who keep the magic alive at the Most Magical Place on Earth.

So, when news broke last week that Disney parks were laying-off 28,000 American workers, the husband-and-wife duo behind DisneyTouristBlog.com sprang into action. The Brickers, who have been offering advice to Disney World travelers since 2011, turned to their online audience.

They created a virtual fundraising drive for Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida in Orlando, which has been helping to feed "miles long lines" of Floridians affected by the pandemic. So far, the Brickers have raised more than $47,000.

"Whether you live in Central Florida or not, we're all part of the same community as Walt Disney World fans," they wrote on their blog after donating $500 to the cause themselves. "Please join us in helping to give back to those who have made so much magic for us all over the years."

Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida spokeswoman Erika Spence told CNN that the food bank has doubled its daily distribution from 150,000 to 300,000 meals a day due to the heightened, sustained need caused by the pandemic.

"They started the [fundraising] page as a way for their blog community to support local tourism workers who have been economically impacted by recent theme park layoffs, reduced attendance, and other factors affecting our local workforce," Spence explained.

"Each dollar raised can provide four meals to families in need," she added.

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The Brickers, who initially set out to raise $2,000, have been touched by the outpouring of support.

"It snowballed beyond our wildest expectations," Tom told the Orlando Sentinel. "I think so many other Walt Disney World fans just have the same appreciation for the cast members that we do."

"It was just absolutely heartwarming," Sarah added.

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