The Walt Disney Company has a longstanding commitment to community service that dates back to Walt Disney, himself, who once said, “The greatest moments in life are not concerned with selfish achievements, but rather with the things we do for other people.”
While Disney has always embraced service and volunteerism, the company formalized support and encouragement of volunteer efforts more than a quarter of a century ago with the introduction of the Disney VoluntEARS program.
The Disney VoluntEARS program provides opportunities for cast members to contribute their time and expertise to improving their communities. Since the program’s inception in 1983, VoluntEARS in more than 40 countries have donated more than 5.5 million hours of service.
VoluntEARS activities span a range of service issues and types, in many cases supporting the same charitable causes to which Disney provides financial support. VoluntEARS give thousands of hours every year working with and helping children, preserving the environment and supporting arts and culture.
Some of the ways the program supports and encourages volunteer efforts:
- Through EARS to You, cast members can earn financial support from Disney for charities to which they volunteer their time.
- Volunteerism projects are the focus of cast member team-building events.
- A self-service Web site matches cast member skills and interests with volunteer opportunities.
- An annual awards program recognizes cast member volunteer service.