Visit Orlando today announced the donation of $289,291 to local organizations that help combat homelessness in Central Florida and facilitate access to necessary services. The donation was raised through Visit Orlando’s Magical Dining, which showcases some of Orlando’s best restaurants through special prix fixe menus in the fall with $1 from each meal designated for charity.
“On behalf of Visit Orlando, our participating restaurants, and all the Orlando residents who dined for a great cause, we’re thrilled to share this donation as a result of Visit Orlando’s Magical Dining program for 2021,” said Casandra Matej, president and CEO for Visit Orlando. “Pathlight HOME and IDignity, are two incredible organizations making a difference in our community and we look forward to seeing their important work supported as a result of these additional funds.”
“We were honored to have been chosen as a beneficiary of this year’s Magical Dining program,” said Helaine Blum, CEO and co-founder of Pathlight HOME. “To date over 7,000 homeless and low-income individuals have found a home and support services through our organization. And, thanks to this funding, even more will have the comfort of a roof over their head and the services they need to become empowered, self-sufficient members of our community.”
"All of us at IDignity were extremely grateful and humbled to have been a beneficiary of Visit Orlando’s Magical Dining program this year,” said Michael Dippy, executive director of IDignity. “IDignity is honored to partner in improving the quality of life in Orlando by assisting U.S. citizens and legal residents in obtaining their legal identification documents. Access to identification not only empowers individuals to better their own lives, it also cultivates a society that is more inclusive, productive, and secure for us all."
In 2021, Visit Orlando extended the program’s charitable impact by awarding a $2,000 donation to one local nonprofit on the front lines of homelessness in each of Orange County’s six commission districts. Those recipients included The Central Florida Hope Center, Latino Leadership, Matthew’s Hope, Professional Opportunities Program, Project Street Light and Zebra Coalition.
Since 2009, Visit Orlando’s Magical Dining has raised over $2 million for local charities. Additional information about Visit Orlando’s Magical Dining, including a full list of charities that have benefited over the years and restaurants that participated, is available at OrlandoMagicalDining.com.
About Pathlight HOME
With the mission to end homelessness, Pathlight HOME provides affordable housing and offers an employment resource center to help low-income and homeless individuals in Central Florida get back on their feet.
Having served over 24,000 individuals in Orange County, IDignity assists disadvantaged Central Floridians in obtaining legal identification documents often required to access education, employment, housing, banking, social services, proper healthcare and numerous additional opportunities.
About Visit Orlando
Visit Orlando is The Official Tourism Association® for Orlando, the most visited destination in the United States and Theme Park Capital of the World®. Visit Orlando connects consumers with every segment of Central Florida’s travel community, whether for a vacation or meeting. Home to seven of the world’s top theme parks — as well as refreshing water parks, outdoor thrill rides, activities to connect with nature, and a dynamic dining and entertainment scene — Orlando is welcoming to travelers of all ages. With 450 hotels, visitors have choices that span multi-acre resorts to themed boutique hotels. Orlando’s trusted theme parks, attractions, hotels and businesses have developed comprehensive safety measures and worked closely with medical experts to create safe travel experiences. Find more information at VisitOrlando.com.