Disneyland surprises Anaheim charity Taller San Jose Hope Builders with $60,000 grant

A crew wearing blue Mickey Mouse ears quickly entered the offices of Taller San Jose Hope Builders in Anaheim carrying an oversized $60,000 check, surprising the charity’s executive director Shawna Smith.

“I thought you were coming to do a site tour,” she said to Jessica Bernard, Disneyland Ambassador.

“We wanted to surprise you,” Bernard said.

The crew of six ear-wearing Disneyland Resort employees are part of what the resort calls its Million Dollar Dazzle crew.

They were there to surprise Smith with the check as part of theDisneyland Resort’s Million Dollar Dazzle Campaign, which was launched in June 2015 in honor of Disneyland’s 60th anniversary. The campaign is donating funds, in $60,000 chunks, to local charities that benefit children and families in need.

The grant given to the charity will go toward its Amigo Scholarship Program.

“The scholarship program helps young people develop their job skills and their life skills so that they can become self sufficient and successful in life,” Smith said.

Taller San Jose Hope Builders was founded in 1995 as a way to transform and train young men and women who need help with getting education and skills training not just for the higher paying jobs, but, according to Smith, life training skills. The word “Taller” in the name is pronounced “tie-YAIR,” which means workshop in Spanish.

Many of the young adults were in a class learning how to be a medical assistant when the Disney crew showed up to surprise the charity Some of those in the class teared up when they heard about the award.


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