VoluntEARS Use Their Professional Skills to Make a Difference

Some of the ways our employees get involved as Disney VoluntEARS include building play spaces, comforting children during their hospital stays, planting trees and feeding the hungry. And, while we’ll continue to service these important needs, Disney VoluntEARS are taking on new types of projects – from web design and financial analysis to marketing strategy and graphic design.

That’s right. It’s called skills-based volunteerism and it’s one of the ways our 30-year VoluntEARS program continues to grow in impact.

Over the past several months, four teams of VoluntEARS took on these tasks for Boys & Girls Clubs across Los Angeles County. From creating a marketing brochure to redesigning a website, these VoluntEARS spent as many as 16 weeks working closely with the clubs to provide Disney-quality services.

“Building a website for the Pasadena Boys & Girls Club was an amazing experience because I was able to use the same skills I use at work to do something meaningful for the community,” says Almon Deomampo, manager of technology for Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Online.

The goal of Almon’s team project was to create a website to attract contributions from donors and inspire confidence in the club’s programs – a website with an impact that will reach far beyond the 16-week life of the project.

VoluntEAR team member Matt Ronchetti added, “I enjoyed the fact that this project was spread out over a number of weeks because it was very collaborative and I could really get into it. It felt good to use my professional skills to truly meet the club’s needs, and I would certainly do it again!”

Boys & Girls Club leaders found the Disney VoluntEARS to be a tremendous resource.

Kim Washington, director of development for the Carson club shares, “It was great value to get a fresh perspective on the community we serve. Our assigned team of VoluntEARS worked on a strategic market plan. They came in with an open interest in our nonprofit, and in the end they became like family.”

To help integrate these new opportunities into the Disney VoluntEARS program, the company partnered with the Taproot Foundation – an organization that specializes in matching professional skills with the nonprofits that need them most. According to Taproot, individuals are three times more likely to gain material job skills from pro bono service versus traditional volunteering. Taproot also assesses the value of each project. The work done by these four teams of VoluntEARS alone resulted in more than $100,000 in support to Boys & Girls Clubs.

As a Disney VoluntEAR myself, the first thing that came to mind after talking to some of the teams was…sign me up!