Sept. 29, 2009 – Disney Parks today announced a new program that celebrates the spirit of volunteer service with a simple proposition: “Give a Day, Get a Disney Day.”
Disney hopes to inspire families to volunteer in their communities during 2010 through this first-of-its-kind program. One million people who perform volunteer service for a participating organization will receive a free one-day admission ticket to a Walt Disney World Resort or Disneyland Resort theme park.
While the “Give a Day, Get a Disney Day” program kicks off Jan. 1, right now guests can learn more about the program and how to get their free one-day admission to a Walt Disney World or Disneyland theme park by visiting www.DisneyParks.com (for the United States and Puerto Rico) or www.DisneyParks.ca (for Canada).
In the past year, guests have been celebrating all sorts of special moments in their lives at Disney parks – from birthdays and anniversaries to reunions and graduations – as part of the “What Will You Celebrate?” campaign.
“In 2010, we want to recognize and add one more reason for celebration: the contributions people make to their communities every day,” said Jay Rasulo, chairman of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts. “We want to inspire 1 million volunteers – people who will invest time and energy to make their own communities and neighborhoods a better place.”
To enable people to sign up for an eligible volunteer project, Disney is working with HandsOn Network, the nation’s largest volunteer network. Part of Points of Light Institute, HandsOn Network has 250 on-the-ground volunteer action centers across the country and connects volunteers to more than 70,000 nonprofit agencies that need their help.
“Wherever we live, our communities need our hands-on help to thrive,” said Michelle Nunn, CEO of Points of Light Institute. “We are thrilled at this unprecedented effort by Disney Parks to help mobilize 1 million volunteers into action. ‘Give a Day, Get a Disney Day’ has the potential to reach so many families and instill the volunteer spirit in a new generation.”
Bob Iger, president and CEO of The Walt Disney Company, said, “‘Give a Day, Get a Disney Day’ fits perfectly with our long history of supporting and participating in volunteer efforts. It’s a great way to honor guests who are making a positive contribution to their communities.”
Starting Jan. 1, 2010, guests can go to www.DisneyParks.com for the United States and Puerto Rico or www.DisneyParks.ca for Canada to search for volunteer opportunities available in those areas through HandsOn Network and sign up for a day of volunteer service. Many of the opportunities will be for projects that entire families can participate in together.
To raise awareness for grass-roots community volunteerism and the “Give a Day, Get a Disney Day” program, Disney VoluntEARS joined local volunteers in cities across the United States and Canada today. Work projects involving 1,000 volunteers were coordinated by HandsOn Network in Atlanta, Chicago, Los Angeles and Miami, and across Canada – in Toronto, Montreal, Halifax and Vancouver.
Joining the Sept. 29 effort were scores of volunteers from Southwest Airlines, which will also provide transportation for a 20-city tour that will take the Disney Parks volunteer message to major cities across the United States this fall and winter.
“Southwest Airlines strives to make a positive difference in the communities we serve, from protecting the environment to supporting a local cause,” said Linda Rutherford, vice president of Communications and Strategic Outreach, Southwest Airlines. “Southwest employees give back both locally and nationally through volunteerism, with individual and personal efforts, serving together as teams or through companywide efforts. The opportunity with Disney unites two companies that are devoted to the spirit of volunteerism.”