The California Governor’s Volunteering and Service Awards have announced the program’s 2018 winners. The Disneyland Resort VoluntEARS program and Karen Kawanami, Director of Enterprise Social Responsibility Programs, were awarded for their work in service and volunteerism.
The Disneyland Resort’s VoluntEARS program was awarded California’s Business Volunteer Program of the Year. VountEARS began at the Disneyland Resort 35 years ago and has been expanding ever since. In 2017 alone, cast members volunteered more than 85,000 hours at 240 local events. Dozens of organizations, nominated by cast members, have also received more than $350,000 through employee-managed Disney VoluntEARS Community Fund grants. EARS to You, the program that allows cast members to turn hours of volunteer service into a financial contribution to a nonprofit organization of their choice, granted more than $225,000 to local nonprofits.
Karen Kawanami, Director of Enterprise Social Responsibility Programs, was awarded the Hoffman Prize for her continued work to foster volunteerism throughout The Walt Disney Company.
For the past 16 years, Karen Kawanami has managed the Disney VoluntEARS program, and connects volunteers around the world to inspire conversations and share best practices on volunteerism. Karen also spearheaded the Disney VoluntEARS Global Service project, the first bringing 30 Disney VountEARS from around the world together to help build a school house in Ecuador.