BURBANK, Calif. (April 18, 2002) — DisneyHand, the worldwide outreach program for The Walt Disney Company (NYSE:DIS), announced today it will serve as a corporate sponsor of the Points of Light Foundation & Volunteer Center National Network’s administration of the Unity in the Spirit of America (USA) that recently was passed by Congress and signed into law by President Bush. Disney’s support will include $1 million in financial support, as well as production resources, broad reach for awareness of the act, Disney talent and marketing resources. DisneyHand will coordinate the company’s efforts, which will be supported by its affiliates, including ABC, Inc., ESPN, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts and Disney Worldwide Publishing.
The USA initiative establishes a program to name national and community service projects in honor of victims who lost their lives as a result of the terrorist attacks on September 11. The intent of this living memorial is to help create a sense of healing across the United States while continuing to improve local communities. The Points of Light Foundation & Volunteer Center National Network is the official nonprofit coordinator of the Unity in the Spirit of America, which was sponsored by Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) and Jon Kyl (R-AZ).
“The question facing our nation is not whether we will forget September 11, for we cannot. Rather, the question is how best can we remember?” said Disney Chairman and CEO Michael D. Eisner. “One outstanding way to remember those who lost their lives is through acts of community service performed in their memory. This is what the USA initiative is all about and we at The Walt Disney Company feel privileged to participate.”
“Disney’s generous contribution will ensure that the victims of this unspeakable tragedy will not only be remembered, but that the projects done in their memories will benefit communities for years to come,” said Robert K. Goodwin, president and chief executive officer of the Points of Light Foundation & Volunteer Center National Network. “We couldn’t be more pleased that Disney has recognized the value of this effort and has unselfishly offered its valuable time and resources, and its respected brand, to this endeavor.”
In signing the USA initiative into law, President Bush stated, “Our Nation will counter evil with good, defeat terrorism by routing out its perpetrators and comforting its victims, and continue to answer the calls of people in need. I commend the United States Congress for passing the Unity in the Spirit of America to honor the Americans who lost their lives on September 11 by encouraging, organizing, and recognizing men and women who selflessly give to others.”
Individuals, companies, and organizations will be able to register a USA project with the Points of Light Foundation & Volunteer Center National Network. Each project will be cataloged and matched with the name of a victim of the September 11 attacks. Volunteers will be able to sign up for the USA initiative via phone (1-800-VOLUNTEER) or online after May 6, at www.usa.1800volunteer.org. All projects must be registered no later than September 11, 2002. When the community service initiative or volunteer project is completed, it will be recorded in a virtual list of honored projects and serve as a living memorial to that individual. This spring, Disney will pay respect to two Disney employees lost to the attacks with several community service projects in their honor.
Since September 11, Disney has launched programs and initiatives to help in the relief efforts and nation’s healing process. The Walt Disney Company made a $5 million corporate contribution to the DisneyHand: Survivor Relief Fund, while individual employee donations totaled more than $700,000. All of the donations were earmarked for assistance to the victims’ families and organizations to aid in the nation’s relief and rebuilding efforts. Disney also worked with First Lady Laura Bush to create public service announcements, which aired on ABC and its affiliated stations and Radio Disney, to help kids cope with their feelings and emotions about the September 11 attacks. In addition, The Walt Disney Company has become a USO World Sponsor, providing more than $1 million in financial and in-kind support.
The Points of Light Foundation & Volunteer Center National Network, a nonpartisan and nonprofit organization, supports and organizes the vital work of community volunteers who help solve our nation’s most serious social problems by bringing people and resources together.