Caring During Covid
Community Relations, Team Member Stories
3D Masks

Universal Steps Up to Help Those in Need

Giving back to the community has always been a priority for each individual Universal destination and for Universal Parks & Resorts as a whole. With the need larger than ever due to the pandemic, our Team Members and organization haven’t hesitated to step up their giving, volunteering and support. In ways both big and small, both personal and company-wide we have found a variety of ways to make an impact and help others get through this difficult time.

Through its Bites. Camera. Action. program Universal Orlando Resort and the Universal Orlando Foundation have been longtime supporters of Second Harvest Food Bank in Central Florida. During the pandemic, the program helped distribute 29,172 pounds of food, equivalent to 229,171 meals, to schools, seniors, veterans and the homeless.

Universal Orlando Team Members from Parks Technology, Creative ATI, Creative Props and Models, Entertainment and Merchandise departments contributed to the creation of 1,834 face shield components and 589 ear guards. These components were made by 3D printers and delivered to AdventHealth’s research and training facility.

Many Universal Orlando Team Members also took the time to volunteer by creating notes of encouragement for health care workers and cloth masks to be donated to three local hospital systems. In total, nearly 25,000 volunteer hours were logged by Team Members, with 5,300 of those going directly to COVID-19 relief efforts.

In addition to the incredible volunteer efforts of its Team Members, the Universal Orlando Foundation has awarded more than $1,651,000 in COVID-19 services-related grants. Some of the organizations that benefited from these grants include Second Harvest Food Bank, United Way, Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Florida, Habitat for Humanity and more.

Universal Studios Hollywood’s Discover a Star Foundation has continued supporting charitable organizations and projects during the pandemic, as it has since it began in 1995. The foundation provided more than $300,000 in support to local organizations committed to serving vulnerable populations and alleviating poverty.

In partnership with Rock and Wrap it Up, Universal Studios Hollywood helped support local organizations like Santa Clarita Foodbank and Help the Children Santa Clarita with more than 10,000 pounds of food. Hollywood also allocated a portion of proceeds from branded face covering sales to MEND, one of the largest food banks in the San Fernando Valley. Universal Studios Hollywood’s Team Members have spent over 4,300 hours volunteering, including hundreds of hours in support of MEND.

To encourage children to manage their health and stay active even while staying at home, Universal Studios Japan partnered with the Osaka prefecture Education department to create an original dance video. The educational video also used choreography and movements to teach kids about social distancing. Featuring music from the previous year’s summer parade, the video was released on Osaka prefecture’s official website and on Universal Studios Japan’s official YouTube account.

Universal Studios Japan also brightened the lives of some of the children who may have needed it most during the pandemic. Over 130 after-school care programs, foster homes and emergency shelters for women and children in Osaka city and prefecture all received donations of Universal Studios merchandise. In total, more than 6,000 items were distributed.

With personal protection equipment (PPE) harder to come by, both Universal Orlando Resort and Universal Studios Japan donated thousands of ponchos to their local city governments. These ponchos can be used instead of medical gowns as PPE for firefighters and paramedics responding to COVID-19 related emergencies. As opposed to actual medical gowns, these ponchos can be decontaminated after use and used more than once, extending their life and lessening the need for replacements.

When we say “Caring is Universal” and “Giving is Universal,” it’s more than a slogan. It’s what we practiced before the pandemic, and it’s what we will continue to practice long after the pandemic is finally over.