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May 1, 2013
Disney VoluntEARS Celebrate 30 Years of Strengthening Communities
By David Gill, The Walt Disney Company
Do you get out and volunteer in your community? Whether or not you do, perhaps you’ll find a little inspiration from a large, dedicated group – Disney VoluntEARS. The idea behind Disney VoluntEARS is simple: provide opportunities for employees to contribute their time and talents to help strengthen communities around the world.
That's exactly what tens of thousands of Disney employees do each year alongside their colleagues, friends and families, and they've been doing it as a formal group for 30 years.
Today kicks off a month-long, 30th anniversary celebration during which employees across The Walt Disney Company will participate in dozens of special service projects and events. And while the program formally celebrates three decades, our tradition of community service dates back to Walt Disney, who would take trips to local hospitals with his animators to entertain children with their character drawings. The tradition endured, and in 1983 the first Disney employee volunteer program, called DCAT (Disneyland Community Action Team), was started by a group of Cast Members at Disneyland. Nine years later, DCAT was renamed Disney VoluntEARS and expanded throughout the company.
Over the past 30 years, Disney VoluntEARS have given more 7.5 million hours of volunteer service in more than 40 countries around the world. To put it in perspective, that's the equivalent of one person volunteering for 855 straight years! Projects include everything from comforting kids during their hospital stays to participating in beach clean ups and building community playgrounds.
Now, it’s time to answer that first question – do you get out and volunteer in your community? If the answer is yes, thank you for all that you do. And if the answer is no, here’s your opportunity to help create a brighter tomorrow.
Go to PointsofLight.org and click on "Volunteer" to find opportunities in your community.
Stay tuned to the blog this month to see how VoluntEARS are making a difference!
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