mickey walt dark fireworksAfter many years as a visitor, and 6 years as a vacation home owner in Kissimmee, our family of 5 relocated to the Orlando area in September of 2015.

We said goodbye to fabulous family and friends in the UK.
It was a big step for us as a family and we’ve had our modest ups and downs along the way.

One thing that surprised us as a family, was the friendliness of the local people here in Orlando.  Different races, religions, political leanings and more.  All became our friends very, very quickly and we very much appreciated that as we built our family life here.

As news broke, our family was not ready for the fact that connections run so deeply here in Orlando.  Not one friend, but several friends have been directly affected by the tragic events in the Pulse nightclub.  That’s the scale of the community here.

Floridians are very caring and sensitive people.
They are true people, that will never be broken as a whole, but as we discovered, they can certainly be hurt at a personal level.
That strong and caring spirit is why we came here in the first place, and that’s why we can’t possibly leave.  Nothing could drive us away.  Nothing.

It’s not dangerous here.  Any more so than any other town or City that faces the wrath of a few.

We are proud to be involved in the theme park community and today, the following note from Walt Disney World made me smile;
We hope it makes you smile too, that humanity is an amazing thing and moves people to love and take care of each other.
Humanity does not kill people, it protects.
Religion does not kill people, it protects.
Our family won’t lose sight of that.
Walt Disney has a lot of resources, and we are very pleased to see them stepping in with a considerable amount of support for those that are suffering most from this awful event.

 

The Walt Disney Company (NYSE: DIS) today announced a $1 million cash commitment to the OneOrlando Fund, established Monday by Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer to assist those affected by the tragic events in Orlando. In addition, eligible donations from Disney employees will be matched dollar for dollar by Disney Employee Matching Gifts: A Program of The Walt Disney Company Foundation.

“We are heartbroken by this tragedy and hope our commitment will help those in the community affected by this senseless act,” said Bob Chapek, chairman, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts. “With 74,000 Cast Members who call Orlando home, we mourn the loss of the victims and offer our condolences to their families, friends and loved ones.”

OneOrlando Fund will provide funds and other services to individuals affected by the tragedy. The website for the new fund is www.oneorlando.org.

Additionally, Walt Disney World Resort has been working in coordination with other Central Florida agencies and leaders to provide support to those in need. In coordination with OneBlood, Cast Members and other employees working at Walt Disney World Resort wishing to donate blood to help victims may donate at five designated locations across the resort property.  

Through an effort led by the City of Orlando and the Central Florida Hotel & Lodging Association, Walt Disney World Resort is also providing complimentary accommodations for the families and friends of the victims.