Learn how Disney Cast Members support their communities around the world.
Disney VoluntEARS are a group of employees and cast members who donate their time to bettering the world around them, whether they’re cleaning up the environment, hosting toy drives, helping to grant wishes or providing their professional skills. With a dedication to service, the Disney VoluntEARS are an essential part of the Disney community – locally and around the world.
Since its beginnings in 1923, The Walt Disney Company has actively given to the communities it serves. The Disney VoluntEARS program continues that effort, showcasing the generosity at the heart of the company.
History of Disney VoluntEARS
The Disney VoluntEARS program has its roots in 1983, when a group of cast members working at Disneyland Resort sought a way to give back to the local community in Anaheim, California. Soon, the Disneyland Community Action Team was born. With a strong desire to spread the Disney spirit beyond the bounds of the park, this group worked closely with nonprofits throughout Orange County to engage in meaningful community projects and enhance the lives of local residents.
The team enjoyed outstanding success supporting nonprofit projects and events, and the company changed the name to Disney VoluntEARS in 1992 to grow and continue the positive momentum around the world. Today, Disney VoluntEARS work on meaningful projects across the globe, with a primary focus on communities where Disney businesses operate.
What do Disney VoluntEARS do?
From local community projects to global initiatives, Disney VoluntEARS strive to make a tangible impact on the communities and lives they touch.
Local Community Assistance
Back to school support: Helping children and families gear up for the new school year with an annual drive to collect school supplies.
Food deliveries: Working with local food banks to pack fresh produce to people who need it most.
Partnering with Chrysalis to help people overcome barriers when entering and remaining in the workforce.
The Great Reef Census, is an initiative to monitor the Great Barrier Reef using photographs taken by regular people visiting the reef. These photos are collected and analyzed by The Great Reef Census to better understand how the site can be protected. VoluntEARS lent a hand in this effort, helping review over 13,000 images and collect essential data for marine scientists.
Supporting Children’s Hospitals
The program has worked to bring magic to patients at hospitals, including Children’s Hospital of Orange County (CHOC). VoluntEARS host an annual holiday party for CHOC patients and their families, complete with games and gingerbread sculptures that bring out the holiday spirit. VoluntEARS also help organize the CHOC Walk in the Park, which has helped raise over $30 million since its debut in 1990.
Granting Wishes with Make-A-Wish®
For decades, Disney has worked alongside Make-A-Wish to bring wishes to life for children around the world. VoluntEARS have long played a crucial role in these wish-granting efforts, offering ample help with events.
Benefits of joining Disney VoluntEARS
The Disney VoluntEARS program employs a skills-based approach to connect volunteers with opportunities that require their unique skills. Employees and cast members have the opportunity to lend their professional skill set and interests to help non-profit organizations. As a result, Disney VoluntEARS can build their professional know-how while using their expertise to help organizations reach their full potential.
In addition to lifting up local communities to benefit individuals in need, Disney VoluntEARS can give to charities of their choice. The Disney VoluntEARS Grants Program allows those who participate in the program to convert their volunteer hours into donations from Disney.
A Legacy of Community Service
Over the years, program participants have logged nearly 13 million hours to volunteer efforts. This serves as a testament to the collective compassion of Disney’s cast members.