USA Weekend Magazine And The Walt Disney Company Announce Unprecedented Collaboration To Inspire Volunteers

McLEAN, VA, August 4, 2003 – In the largest collaboration of its kind, USA WEEKEND Magazine and DisneyHand, worldwide outreach for The Walt Disney Company, are combining their resources and reach to shine the spotlight on volunteering.

USA WEEKEND Magazine – with 49 million readers of nearly 600 newspapers – partners with the Points of Light Foundation each year to encourage Americans to volunteer on Make A Difference Day, which has become the nation’s largest day of community service. Disney, through ABC, Disney Channel, ESPN and Buena Vista Television, will deliver the Make A Difference Day message of volunteering to a broader audience than ever before.

“We are delighted to join with Disney on a multi-media effort to encourage Americans to volunteer on this important day,” says Jack Curry, Executive Editor and Vice President of USA WEEKEND. “It’s historic. This is the largest pro-volunteering effort and really flexes media muscle for the nation’s good.”

“Disney is pleased to collaborate with USA WEEKEND on Make A Difference Day since both organizations have a long history of supporting volunteerism, and we are glad to be able to help further the cause. It is a natural extension of Disney’s ongoing commitment to volunteering, both internally through our Disney VoluntEARS and externally through our programs that encourage children and families to show their ‘character’ and make a difference in their communities,” says Jody J. Dreyer, Senior Vice President, Disney Worldwide Outreach.

USA WEEKEND’s Make A Difference Day mobilizes millions of participants each year on the fourth Saturday of October to help in their communities in a wide variety of grass-roots efforts. This year it is on Saturday, Oct. 25. In the 2002 event, more than 3 million people did something good for an estimated 30 million people.

“We have partnered with DisneyHand and USA WEEKEND Magazine individually on a number of initiatives to increase volunteering,” says Robert K. Goodwin, president and CEO of the Points of Light Foundation. “Uniting the resources of these two media giants with our extensive network of volunteer experts will inspire even more men, women and children to share their time and talents to help others and improve their local communities.”

This year’s outreach effort launches in the Aug. 8-10 issue of USA WEEKEND with a cover story by Raven, star of Disney Channel’s “That’s So Raven” and “The Cheetah Girls,” and, from 1989-92, Olivia on “The Cosby Show.” She gives an inspirational message to young people and pledges to participate on Make A Difference Day. Faith Ford, star of the upcoming TGIF series “Hope and Faith,” will be the spokeswoman for Make A Difference Day and will be featured with her co-star, Kelly Ripa, on the cover of USA WEEKEND’s Oct. 17-19 issue.

The cover stories featuring Ford, Ripa and Raven bookend a series of personal articles supporting Make A Difference Day by a range of Disney talent including George Lopez, Bonnie Hunt and Breckin Meyer, stars of ABC’s TGIF sitcoms “George Lopez,” Life with Bonnie” and “Married to the Kellys” respectively, ESPN’s Dick Vitale, Meredith Vieira of “The View” and “Who Wants To Be a Millionaire,” and multi-faceted entertainer and daily talk show host Wayne Brady.

In addition, during the week before Make A Difference Day, the Emmy-winning “Wayne Brady Show” will feature five segments on volunteers preparing to participate in the Oct. 25 event.

For more information on how to participate in Make A Difference Day, visit

About USA WEEKEND Magazine
USA WEEKEND Magazine is a national weekly magazine distributed by 598 newspapers in the United States. Awarded for its journalism and design, USA WEEKEND focuses on social issues, entertainment, health, personal finance and technology. The magazine’s Make A Difference Day is the nation’s largest annual day of community service. The magazine also provides Newspapers in Education classroom guides to partner provides enhanced content and interactive magazine features. USA WEEKEND Magazine is a part of the Gannett Co.

About DisneyHand
DisneyHand is dedicated to making the dreams of families and children a reality through focused public service initiatives, community outreach and volunteerism in areas such as learning, compassion, the arts and the environment. The Walt Disney Company, together with its subsidiaries and affiliates, is a diversified, international family entertainment and media enterprise which includes Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, The Walt Disney Studios, ABC, Inc., ESPN, Disney Channel, Disney Stores, television and radio stations and Internet Web sites. For more information on Disney’s corporate public service efforts, please visit our Web site at

About Points of Light Foundation
The Points of Light Foundation, based in Washington, D.C., partners with over 400 Volunteer Centers across the country to help mobilize millions of volunteers who are helping to solve serious social problems in thousands of communities. The Foundation has gained a national reputation as America’s Address for Volunteering. As President George W. Bush commented in a statement made in 2002, “The Points of Light Foundation embodies America’s spirit of volunteerism and the goodwill of its citizens.” Local volunteer opportunities are easy to find at or by calling 1-800-VOLUNTEER.