It’s been an incredible month celebrating the 30th anniversary of Disney VoluntEARS! I’m most fascinated by the global reach of the program, with community projects taking place everywhere from Paris to Hawaii to Hong Kong and even Laos; an impact that ultimately reached more than 100,000 kids and families during the month of May.
Here are some favorite photos from the month, including my absolute favorite – Disney VoluntEARS at the Great Wall of China!
In China, about 70 VoluntEARS worked with The Nature Conservancy to clean up trash at the Great Wall and along a famous hiking trail, one of Beijing’s most precious unspoiled natural and cultural preserves.
After a 7.0 earthquake hit the Chinese city of Lushan, The Walt Disney Company announced a $1 million donation toward rebuilding efforts, including helping to build temporary school classrooms. Two weeks later, Disney VoluntEARS helped bring the magic of Disney to more than 1,450 Lushan High School students at a school reopening ceremony.
Aloha! Aulani VoluntEARS kicked-off the celebration by distributing more than 1,500 books to military and veteran families through the Blue Star Families Books on Bases program. Later in the month, the team participated in several other events, including raising just over $11,000 for Hawaii Charities at the 35th annual Charity Walk through Waikiki.
And, I couldn’t post this story without mentioning KaBOOM! playground builds. By the end of the year, Disney VoluntEARS will have helped bring the magic of play to over 50,000 kids and families. The image above showcases how the design phase begins for each build – with the children impacted by it! To see what a KaBOOM! build is all about, check out this related blog post.
Heading to Europe, 220 Disney VoluntEARS in Germany celebrated with a full day of outreach. The team worked on 30 different projects with 30 organizations, providing everything from upgrading animal shelters to cooking classes for children with disabilities.
Finally, the Blanketeers – a group VoluntEARS who are active in Disney offices in California, New York, Florida, Hong Kong and across Latin America – used their knitting, crocheting and blanket-tying skills to create hundreds of blankets, scarves and hats for those in need this month.
And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Events took place in dozens of other locations around the world. Check out the map below to get a sense for the scope of the celebration!
Here’s to the next 30 years of Disney VoluntEARS!