National Disney initiative appeals to local volunteersWORTHINGTON — Local volunteers are taking advantage of a national initiative to promote service — and may earn a free pass to the happiest place on Earth as a result.
WORTHINGTON — Local volunteers are taking advantage of a national initiative to promote service — and may earn a free pass to the happiest place on Earth as a result.
District 518’s Community Education program is a registered participant in “Give a Day, Get a Disney Day,” a joint initiative of Disney and the HandsOn Network, a network that helps people find volunteer projects and programs that align their passions with needs in their communities.
Those who sign up through Disney’s Web site and complete an eligible volunteer activity will receive a voucher for one free day of admission to a Walt Disney World® Resort theme park or the Disneyland® Resort.
The district had 23 active volunteers in December, before the promotion started, said Susan Fratzke, the district’s AmeriCorps VISTA volunteer coordinator. But since the program opened Jan. 1, 23 more people from as far away as Sioux Falls, S.D. and Fairmont have signed up for the initiative in District 518, the only one in the area registered with Disney.
“They encourage them to sign up as a family; I think that’s one of the reasons why there’s so many people,” Fratzke said. “I’m hoping people, if they come for a one-time thing, they’ll enjoy it and want to come back for more.”
Among eligible volunteer opportunities in the district are delivering books for the Dolly Parton Imagination Library or helping adults with literacy skills in adult basic education classes.
One of the volunteers who signed up through the Disney program is Fairmont resident Matthew Wolner.
“I’d seen the commercial on TV and we have a trip planned and we had tickets already but I thought this way we could get another set of tickets and help the community,” he explained. He will be delivering books with his family, which includes his 3-year-old son. “I think that one is going to work out really good for us because we have a little boy and he can hand out books just the same as we can,” he said. “We wanted to do something around Christmas to do some kind of volunteer work and our schedule didn’t allow us to do it before Christmas so we thought this would be a great idea.”
Fratzke said she hopes to arrange for one-time volunteers to help with classes falling on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, but she would prefer people volunteer for a month.
While Disney requires volunteers to be at least 6 years old, opportunities available locally are more appropriate for those 15 and older.
Those interested in volunteering should sign up on the Web site and may contact Fratzke at (507) 372-1219 with questions.
On the Net
Disney Web site