Celebrating 30 Years of Disney VoluntEARS

This month marks the 30th anniversary of Disney VoluntEARS, the global, company-wide initiative that provides Disney Cast Members with the chance to contribute their time and make a positive impact on their communities.

Disney VoluntEARS Celebrate 30 Years of GivingDisney VoluntEARS Celebrate 30 Years of Giving

Last week, Mickey Mouse and more than 250 Walt Disney World Cast Members kicked off the month-long celebration.

Walt Disney World is proud to be a member of the Central Florida community," said George A. Kalogridis, president of Walt Disney World Resort. "We live in a dynamic community with many needs, and our VoluntEARS invest their time and talents in a variety of endeavors. Through them, we inspire children and families, revitalize our environment and improve the quality of life.

In 2012 alone, Walt Disney World VoluntEARS donated 230,000 hours supporting more than 1,700 organizations in Central Florida. This year, the Disney EARS to You Program is planning to donate $916,000 to 450 local non-profit agencies and service groups.

In 2012 VoluntEARS Donated 230,000 HoursIn 2012 VoluntEARS Donated 230,000 Hours

As part of the 30th anniversary celebration, Cast Members around the world are participating in activities promoting the happiness and well-being of children and families. Walt Disney World Resort Cast Members have committed to nearly 50 activities for May including serving meals to the homeless and building playgrounds.

During the anniversary kick-off, Disney's Animal Kingdom Community Involvement Team was named the VoluntEAR Team of the Year and veterinary assistant Liz Hedrick as the Disney VoluntEAR of the Year. Both Hedrick and Disney's Animal Kingdom team received $3,000 each for charities of their choice - Wildlife Rehabilitation of Central Florida and the SPCA of Central Florida.

The VoluntEARS program started in 1983 at the Disneyland Resort and became a company-wide program in the 1990s.

Story by Traci C., Source

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