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Magic of Disney Inspires 1 Million to Volunteer

Magic of Disney Inspires 1 Million to Volunteer

(Photo Courtesy of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts)

USA Today

March 11, 2010

Volunteerism is catching on like wild fire these days. Indeed, what Patrick Corvington, CEO of the Corporation for National and Community Service, calls a “compassion boom,” folks of all ages are giving back in large numbers across the U.S.

The most recent example of this commitment to doing good?

Disney’s “Give a Day, Get a Disney Day” reached its goal this week of inspiring 1 million people in 2010 to give back to their communities.

The program, which launched on Jan. 1 in partnership with the HandsOn Network (volunteer network and program facilitator), gives volunteers a one-day free pass to Disney’s Florida or California theme park for completing an eligible project. And within 10 weeks of launch, the program reached its goal of getting 1 million people to sign up.

“The innovative nature of this program has exponentially increased our capacity to both invite and excite people about volunteerism,” said Michelle Nunn, co-founder of HandsOn Network and CEO of Points of Lights Institute, in a news release. “The overwhelming participation of families – and youth especially – is a testament to a growing trend. Many of these volunteers are serving for the first time, and some will develop into service leaders who help change the face of our nation.”

What types of projects have been completed so far? Here’s a short list to give you an idea:

• Boston: Volunteers served meals to people in need, knitted and crocheted scarves and mittens for children afflicted with life-threatening illnesses and helped as caregivers at an animal adoption center.

• California: San Francisco Bay-area volunteers helped with basic English lessons, painted park benches and planted flowers.

•Jacksonville, Fla.: Volunteers painted murals and spruced up rooms at a home for women and children, while in Pittsburgh they took on construction tasks – tiling, sanding, staining and painting – to help create affordable housing.

• Puerto Rico: 500 volunteers cleaned the beaches of Vaciatalega and La Perla located in the vicinity of Old San Juan.

Although the program has ended, you can still get involved in a volunteer opportunity near you through the HandsOn Network.

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