Category Archives: VoluntEARS
Children in Clermont have a new place to play and learn thanks to dozens of Walt Disney World Cast Members who joined efforts with other community partners to build a KaBOOM! Playground.
The volunteers endured six hours of hard work and light rain as they installed new swings, a rock-climbing wall and spiral slides along with seesaws and monkey bars.
“This project meant a lot to me,” said Disney VoluntEAR Shelby Curry. “Because I live in Clermont, I feel like I’m not only giving back to the community, but my own children will also be able to play here for many years to come.”
With Mickey Mouse cheering them on, more than 250 Walt Disney World Cast Members gathered today for a pep rally to kick off a month-long celebration of the 30th anniversary of Disney VoluntEARS. The program is a global, company-wide effort that provides opportunities for Cast Members to contribute their time to make a positive impact on the community.
During the month of May, Cast Members around the world will commemorate the 30-year milestone by participating in activities that promote the happiness and wellbeing of children and families, strengthen their communities and inspire others to volunteer. At Walt Disney World Resort, thousands of Cast Members have committed to nearly 50 volunteer activities over the next 30 days from serving meals to the homeless to building playgrounds in local neighborhoods to caring for rescued animals.
“Walt Disney World is proud to be a member of the Central Florida community,” said George A. Kalogridis, president of Walt Disney World Resort. “We live in a dynamic community with many needs, and our VoluntEARS invest their time and talents in a variety of endeavors. Through them, we inspire children and families, revitalize our environment and improve the quality of life.”
In honor of National Literacy Month in March, Disney Cruise Line crew members visited schoolchildren in ports of call as part of the Reading Together educational outreach program. The crew visited schools in Grand Cayman, St. Thomas and Nassau to promote literacy and inspire children to enjoy reading.
The Disney Cruise Line Reading Together program launched 10 years ago, and since then, crew members have visited schools across The Bahamas and U.S. Virgin Islands to share stories and get children excited about reading.
“Disney is a company built on storytelling and imagination, so it’s a great fit for Disney Cruise Line to have a Reading Together program where our crew read and inspire children in their local school,” said Rena Langley, vice president of Public Affairs for Disney Cruise Line. “This is another way we become involved in the ports we call home each year.”
In addition to the Reading Together program, crew members also deliver donations of Disney children’s books to schools in to promote reading and help increase reading comprehension scores in classrooms. Since 2003 Disney Cruise Line donated enough books to impact more than 7,000 children across The Bahamas and Caribbean.
Emergency preparedness and safety are highly valued here at Disney, so much so that a special award — the Disney Heroes Award — was introduced to recognize employees who save a life or prevent serious injuries.
The five-year-old program was established to commend heroic acts performed by Disney employees in and outside of the workplace. Any employee from across The Walt Disney Company can submit a nomination on behalf of a colleague who performs a life-saving act, whether it’s clearing the airway of a choking victim or reporting a life-threatening security issue to authorities. Since the program launched, more than 100 Disney Heroes Awards have been awarded to teams and employees around the world — from Tokyo to Germany and in the U.S.
“Disney’s support went the extra mile. Their financial contribution, commitment to volunteerism and their Imagineers providing incredible creativity to make our space come alive is just phenomenal,” said Dave Krepcho, president/CEO of Second Harvest Food Bank.
In 2012, more than 730,000 people, half of them children, received emergency food in the six Central Florida counties served by Second Harvest. To help meet Central Florida’s growing need, the new facility’s features include increased warehouse space, increased refrigerator and freezer capacity and a community kitchen.
For more than 20 years, Disney has donated several million pounds of food through its “Disney Harvest Program” which collects prepared and unserved food from eateries throughout the resort’s properties and delivers it to the food bank. Disney Cast Members also participate in food drives and volunteer their time to sort food at Second Harvest.
Wishing you Faith, Trust, and Pixie Dust
- Disney Imagineers Put Their Creativity to Work at Second Harvest Food Bank (chipandco.com)
- Disney is Sharing the Magic (chipandco.com)