HandsOn Network, Disney Team Up to Encourage Volunteers

Largest volunteer network in the U.S.

This 2007 photo shows HandsOn Network volunteers cleaning up a neighborhood. Image from Flikr.com.

This 2007 photo shows HandsOn Network volunteers cleaning up a neighborhood. Image from Flikr.com.

We have all heard the president calling for everyone to be good citizens and do volunteer work. Now, there’s a little extra incentive from Disney, who is running the “Give a day, get a Disney day” promotion. Disney has teamed up with the HandsOn Network, which is part of the nation’s largest volunteer network, the Points of Light Institute, to encourage people to volunteer.

The Los Angeles Times says 1 million people who do volunteer work through a HandsOn Network participating organization will get a pass for a free one-day admission to either Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Fla., or Disneyland in Anaheim, Calif. To be eligible for the free passes, volunteers must sign up through DisneyParks.com.

Not so fast

The promotion is available starting Jan. 1 2010, but you can already read about the program on the Disney parks web site and the HandsOn Network site. Of course, you can sign up to do volunteer work now, but you won’t be eligible for the free Disney theme park pass. So if you’re looking to save cash now on a Disney vacation, you’ll have to sit tight for a while.

The HandsOn Network can help you find centers where you can volunteer, but it also has a toolkit for starting your own volunteer project through the organization. You can also read other service volunteers’ stories to see what kinds of projects HandsOn Network can hook you up with.

Disney marketing campaign

While Disney’s partnership with the HandsOn Network will no doubt end up helping a lot of needy people and programs, the Walt Disney Co. will probably see some benefits from the promotion as well. The program appears to be somewhat of an extension of this year’s advertising campaign slogan “What will you celebrate?” AllEars.net reports:

Mickey Mouse

Give a day, get a Disney day (image from flickr)

“In 2010, we want to recognize and add one more reason for celebration: the contributions people make to their communities every day,” said Jay Rasulo, chairman of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts. “We want to inspire 1 million volunteers – people who will invest time and energy to make their own communities and neighborhoods a better place.”

The program might drum up a little profit for Disney theme parks. After all, admission passes don’t cover food and all the other goodies available for sale in the parks. And perhaps friends who get the free passes will talk others into joining them.

Back to the important stuff

Of course, the best news about this partnership promotion is that the HandsOn Network, if all goes as planned, will get 1 million new volunteers. That means more people to help in soup kitchens, tutors for school kids and all kinds of other positive action across the country.

Furthermore, it is getting the name of the HandsOn Network out there. Since Disney announced its promotion, many people have learned about HandsOn Network. I have faith that a lot of people will sign up to volunteer through the HandsOn Network because of this promotion, regardless of whether they get a theme park pass or not. And for those who want something in exchange for their day of service or just a free pass to Disneyland, here’s a perfect opportunity.

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