For many years I have been a volunteer for my children’s different schools and organizations. Be it organizing a festival, fundraising for music and theatre productions, acting as president of the parent organization, sewing costumes, organizing 5K races, buying school supplies in bulk, you name it, I probably volunteered for it over the past 15 years! So how could I pass up the opportunity to be an “Honorary Disney VoluntEAR” at the D23 Expo 2017 in Anaheim, California?
While there was so much going on at the Expo, such as information panels on what is going to happen at the different parks and resorts, new live and animated movies, Disney Legends panels, concerts, and much more, I was glad to see that the Disney Citizenship pavilion was once again at the D23 Expo this year. In 2013, Andrew and I VoluntEARed all three days and really enjoyed giving back to the community, and we were looking forward to VoluntEARing again in 2017.
The Walt Disney Company on Philanthropy
One great aspect of The Walt Disney Company is their commitment to helping others in their local communities around the world. Following are some statements from The Walt Disney Company regarding philanthropy.
“Disney is committed to strengthening communities by providing hope, happiness, and comfort to kids and families who need it most”
“Disney VoluntEARS In 2016: Disney employees contributed more than 542,800 hours of service through the Disney VoluntEARS program. Since 2012, Disney VoluntEARS have contributed a total of more than 2.9 million hours of service”. (The Walt Disney Company’s 2016 Data Table)
Mission: Volunteerism is a central and enduring part of Disney’s legacy and culture. Our Cast Members, and employees around the world give their time and expertise to brighten the life of kids and families in need and help strengthen communities around the world. Since the program’s founding in 1983, Disney VoluntEARS in more than 40 countries have given over 8 million hours of volunteer service, including comforting kids during their hospital stays, participating in beach clean ups, and building community playgrounds. (WDW VoluntEARS Facebook page)
Disney VoluntEARS: In 1983, Disneyland Resort Cast Members formed the Disneyland Community Action Team to provide meaningful service to the community through volunteer work with nonprofit organizations. The success of this organization led to a company-wide launch of the Disney VoluntEARS in 1992. Today, Disney VoluntEARS work on meaningful projects across the globe, with a primary focus on communities where Disney business units operate.
While researching the history of Disney VoluntEARing, I learned so much more about this magical company that I have loved for so many years. There are four main goals of Disney VoluntEARS:
Day One – Friday, July 14, 2017
Today our Disney VoluntEAR duties at the Disney Citizenship pavilion included packing bags for the OC Students Inside the Outdoors Foundation. As we went through the pavilion and around the tables, we packed bird and bug identification cards, a mini magnifying glass, booklets and sunscreen into a nice, reusable cloth bag. The items were in totes, and we simply gathered one of each item as we walked along. At the end of the table, a Cast Member tied the bag closed, and we were given a reusable Disney VoluntEAR bag and sticker saying that we VoluntEARed today. I later learned that over 5700 bags were donated to the OC Students for their Outdoor Adventures program.
Day Two – Saturday, July 15, 2017
After attending a D23 panel in the morning, we stopped by the Disney Citizenship pavilion for day two of our Disney VoluntEARing. Today’s theme was “Super Hero”, and we filled reusable bags with everything a child would need to be a super hero. We inserted a white cape, special markers for decorating the cape, a white mask, and several comic books. The bags will be donated to a local Children’s Hospital in California.
Day Three – Sunday, July 16, 2017
Our last day of Disney VoluntEARing was for the Boys and Girls Club of America. The theme was “Be Your Best”. As we went through the line, we packed the bag with a reusable water bottle, small football, Frisbee, sunscreen, and a card with simple ways to be your best! Today after we filled our bags, we were given another reusable bag, sticker and a Disney cookbook to keep. This was a fun and easy way to give back to the community and to help Disney with its Disney Citizenship project. We are so glad we took a few minutes out of our busy Expo schedule each day to be an “Honorary Disney VoluntEAR”.
How will you “Be Inspired to Create a Brighter Tomorrow”?
Enjoy other D23 Expo 2017 articles/videos at these links:
(Disney VoluntEARS logo and Be Inspired © Disney. All photos are property of author.)
To learn more about Vanessa and read her recent posts for WDW Radio, visit her author page by clicking the link on her name at the top of this post.