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‘Give a Day, Get a Disney Day’ Program Reaches 600,000 Volunteer Sign-Ups – and Counting!

Posted Feb 16 2010 6:49pm
Canned Goods Set a Guinness World RecordShip to Food Banks

LAKE BUENA VISTAFla. (Feb. 112010) – Against the backdrop of a world-record sculpture of canned goods destined for food banksDisney Parks officials on Thursday announced a major milestone with the “Give a DayGet a Disney Day” programa first-of-its-kind effort to help inspire 1 million people to perform volunteer service.

Since the program’s launch only six weeks agomore than 600,000 people in the United StatesPuerto Rico and Canada have volunteered or signed up for volunteer projects in their communitiesannounced Tom Staggschairman of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts.

“With the launch of our ‘Give a DayGet a Disney Day’ programwe hoped to spark something truly special,” Staggs said. “But even we have been overwhelmed with the response.”

To recognize their good deedsin 2010 Disney Parks is celebrating those who volunteer through the program by giving them a free one-day admission to either a Walt Disney World Resort or Disneyland Resort theme park. Volunteers can start the search and sign-up process by going to www.disneyparks.com.

HandsOn Networkthe volunteer-focused arm of Points of Light Institute and the largest volunteer network in the nationis supporting the “Give a DayGet a Disney Day” program by connecting volunteers with projects.

According to Michelle Nunnco-founder of HandsOn Network and CEO of Points of Light Institute10,000 community organizationsthrough the Disney Parks programare getting the volunteers they need to meet important community challenges.

“The level of volunteerism we have seen in the first weeks of 2010 is tracking to new highs,” she said. “Our dream at HandsOn Network is for everyone to recognize their power to make a difference. Disney is helping us make that dream a realitya million times over.”

Since the launch of the “Give a DayGet a Disney Day” program on Jan. 12010volunteers have trekked through wetlands near Long BeachCalif.and through mountain preserves in PhoenixAriz.clearing away non-native vegetation. A continent awayvolunteers have whisked away trash on Atlantic Coast beaches in Brevard County and Dade CountyFla. In Port HuronMich.“soccer families” have picked up paint brushes to help spruce up a community center. In AtlantaGa.volunteers have assisted hospitalized children as they create arts and crafts projects. And with the forecast for a cold night aheadthe homeless in Central Florida were handed blankets by caring volunteers.

In addition to celebrating the “Give A DayGet a Disney Day” programDisney Parks welcomed to Walt Disney World Resort Thursday other outstanding volunteer families from the United StatesPuerto Rico and Canada who gave back to their communities in special waysas part of Disney’s celebration of family volunteerism in 2010.

“Today we are here to celebrate you,” Staggs told the families. “With each of your effortsyou make a difference.”

Canned-Food Structure UnveiledVerified Largest-Ever by Guinness World Records®

As part of the event celebrating family volunteers and to dramatize the spirit of givingWalt Disney World Resort on Thursday unveiled a mammoth structure of canned goods – food that will be donated to food banks in OrlandoMiami and Atlanta.

The canned food sculpture – titled “Celebrate Volunteers” – was revealed for media and guests at Epcot. Disney VoluntEARS shaped the sculpture with a larger-than-life GoofyMickey MouseDonald Duck and Pluto – all sculpted out of cans. Goofy’s trademark hat consisted of cans of bread crumbsfor instance. Mickey’s famous head was shaped from cans of black olivesand cans of sliced pineapple made up Pluto’s eyes.

The cans represent approximately 70,000 mealsaccording to Dave Krepchopresident/CEO of Second Harvest of Central Florida. “Each can makes a difference in someone’s life who cannot afford this food,” he said. “Much of this food goes to children in needworking moms trying to providesenior citizens coping on fixed incomes and people whose disabilities keep them from working.”

The spectacularcharacter-themed structure – consisting officially of 115,527 cans – was also a world recordaccording to Guinness World Recordsthe internationally recognized authority on record-breaking achievement. Guinness World Records Thursday authenticated the achievement as the Largest Canned Food Structure ever createdeasily eclipsing the previous record of 54,527 cans set in June 2009 in New Zealand.

Some volunteer families also shared star billing Thursday with stars of the Disney Channel and Disney XD. As part of Disney’s youth environmental movementFriends for Change: Project Green (www.Disney.com/ProjectGreen)Joe JonasDemi Lovato and others joined the celebrationmaking special appearances throughout the day to show what’s possible when kids and families get together and volunteer to help the planet.

Give a DayGet a Disney Day detailsMust pre-register and sign up for eligible volunteer opportunity at disneyparks.com. Ticket quantities for this program are limited. Must be at least age 6 to participate. One ticket per person. Other terms and conditions apply. For detailssee disneyparks.com in the United States and Puerto Rico. In Canadasee disneyparks.ca.
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