Family Volunteer Day Kicks Off Holiday Season With Service on Nov. 23

Disney Friends for Change Sponsors National Day of Service to Inspire Families to Make a Difference in Their Communities  

LOS ANGELES, Nov. 22, 2013 – What’s your project this Saturday? In North Carolina, one family will work at a local farm that feeds the homeless. In Texas, another family will assist community outreach efforts to help their neighbors in need gain better access to housing and medicine.

All across America thousands of families will be spending Saturday, Nov. 23, doing acts of service to help those less fortunate as part of Family Volunteer Day. The day of service is sponsored by Disney Friends for Change, a global initiative that inspires kids and families to take action, powered by Points of Light’s youth service initiative generationOn and supported by Embassy Suites Hotels, the family-friendly, all suites hotel brand. 

For 23 years, Family Volunteer Day has been held on the Saturday before Thanksgiving to kick off the holiday season with giving and service. Family Volunteer Day encourages families to volunteer together to help strengthen their communities. Multiple studies show the long-term value and wide-ranging benefits of volunteerism, and experts agree that raising a charitable child will create kids who have a passion for service and civic engagement.

“Family Volunteer Day is a great opportunity for parents to model what it means to be a good citizen and a good neighbor,” said Tracy Hoover, president of Points of Light. “One of the greatest lessons we can teach our children is that helping others is part of who we are. When kids learn that, they become more compassionate, more engaged in community, more thoughtful as a generation.”

“Inspiring and equipping the next generation of volunteers is a critical part of our mission at Points of Light,” Hoover said. “Disney and Embassy Suites have provided us with valuable opportunities to engage these young people through their continued support of Family Volunteer Day.”  

In Los Angeles, more than 200 Disney VoluntEARS, Disney Channel and Disney XD stars, and local kids and families will participate in a Muppets-themed day of service at the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank, boxing food for Angelenos in need.

Disney has worked closely with Points of Light for more than 20 years to help mobilize the nation into action through volunteerism and service. Disney’s ongoing commitment includes principal supporter of Family Volunteer Day and founding sponsor of the Daily Points of Light Trust that recognizes individuals and organizations who promote volunteering for kids and families.   

“Family volunteer projects are a meaningful way to share an experience that shows kids first-hand how their own actions can make a real difference in a life or in the world,” said Leslie Goodman, senior vice president of Corporate Citizenship at Disney. “Disney is proud to sponsor Family Volunteer Day events to inspire kids and families to develop a lifelong love of service and share in our commitment to creating a brighter tomorrow.”

Embassy Suites Hotels has pledged its commitment to continue investing in nonprofits that strengthen communities with a special grants program. The program will provide eleven $2,000 grants to Embassy Suites non-profit partners that connect families to community resources.    

In addition to the volunteer projects, 10 families will be recognized with a Daily Point of Light Award for their ongoing, exceptional efforts to give back to their communities. Families that want to join Family Volunteer Day activities can visit PointsofLight.org for volunteer projects near them. Families can also find information, project ideas and resources for their own service projects at http://www.generationon.org/parents/family-volunteer-resources.

Points of Light

Points of Light - the largest organization in the world dedicated to volunteer service - mobilizes millions of people to take action that is changing the world. Through affiliates in 250 cities and partnerships with thousands of nonprofits and corporations, Points of Light engages more than 4 million volunteers in 30 million hours of service each year. We bring the power of people to bear where it matters most. For more information, go to pointsoflight.org.

GenerationOn

GenerationOn is the global youth service movement igniting the power of kids to make their mark on the world. As Points of Light's youth service enterprise, generationOn inspires, equips and mobilizes youth to take action through generationOn service clubs, schools, youth organizations, campaigns and youth leadership initiatives. It also provides tools and resources to youth, families and educators to help kids change the world and themselves through service. For more information, visit generationon.org.

The Walt Disney Company

The Walt Disney Company, together with its subsidiaries and affiliates, is a leading diversified international entertainment and media enterprise with five business segments: media networks, parks and resorts, studio entertainment, consumer products and interactive media. Being a good corporate citizen is a time-honored Disney tradition. Through contributions, collaborations with local organizations, in-kind gifts and volunteering, Disney helps to brighten the lives of kids and families in need and strengthen communities around the world. In 2012, the Company donated more than $292 million in cash, in-kind support and products, and Disney VoluntEARS gave more than 586,000 hours of service. Disney Friends for Change is a global initiative that inspires kids and their families to make lasting, positive change by helping people, communities, and the planet. To date, Friends for Change kids in 55 countries around the world have taken 20 million actions. For more information, visit thewaltdisneycompany.com or Disney.com/friends.

Embassy Suites Hotels

Embassy Suites Hotels, one of Hilton Worldwide’s 10 market-leading brands, gives guests more during every stay. The full-service, upscale brand offers spacious two-room suites, free cooked-to-order breakfast and nightly Complimentary Evening Receptions with appetizers and beverages. Families feel right at home in the brand’s inviting atrium environment. Embassy Suites Hotels is a gracious, engaging and caring partner focused on cultivating networks of support to make a difference for families and help build resilient communities. For more information, visit embassysuites.com and connect with Embassy Suites at news.embassysuites.com, facebook.com/embassysuiteshotels and twitter.com/EmbassySuites.

Contact:         

generationOn: Kathy Saulitis, 203-247-3664, Ksaulitis@generationOn.org

Points of Light:  Denis Wolcott, 213-200-1563, Denis@thewolcottcompany.com

Disney:  Charmion Kinder, 818-281-2167, Charmion.Kinder@disney.com

Embassy Suites: Atiya Frederick, 703-883-6599, Atiya.Frederick@hilton.com