Points of Light and Disney Honor 10 Families Who Volunteer Together in Celebration of Family Volunteer Day, Nov. 21, 2015
ATLANTA, Nov. 13, 2015 – Disney and Points of Light – the world’s largest organization dedicated to volunteer service – announced 10 families who will receive the Daily Point of Light Award in honor of their exceptional volunteer work. Awards will be presented starting Monday, Nov. 16 through Friday, Nov. 27, to celebrate Family Volunteer Day – a day of service led by generationOn – the youth division of Points of Light. Disney, a proud supporter of the Daily Point of Light Award and Family Volunteer Day, has worked with Points of Light and generationOn for more than 20 years to help mobilize the nation into action through volunteerism and service.
The Daily Point of Light Award celebrates the power of people to spark change and improve the world. Honored families will be featured on pointsoflight.org, and will receive media support, along with a signed certificate by President George H. W. Bush, who started the award 26 years ago. Since then, there have been more than 5,600 honorees.
Family Volunteer Day is a day of service that highlights the power of families who work together to support their neighbors and neighborhoods. For the past 25 years, thousands of families have taken this opportunity to volunteer together, develop skills and learn more about their communities.
“Service is a great way to help bring families together while taking action to make the world a better place,” said Delores Morton, president of programs at Points of Light. “Research shows that volunteering benefits kids, families and communities, and is a powerful way to teach youth valuable, real-life lessons about empathy and caring. We are excited to honor these families for their exemplary commitment to volunteering as a family and the significant contributions that they make to their communities.”
The 10 Daily Point of Light awardees are:
The Chung Family – Chicago, Illinois
The Chung Family is passionate about making sure families in their community are able to meet their basic nutritional needs. To meet short-term needs of hungry families, they collect, pack and distribute groceries for Chicago families. They also help with longer-term solutions by leading garden projects that create safe, green spaces and fresh produce for Chicago public school students.
The Denk Family – South Euclid, Ohio
Inspired by the example of service set by their mother, Benjamin and Thomas, ages 5 and 7, respectively, wanted to bring support and joy to ill parishioners within their church. Through the Send-A-Smile project, the Denks work together to find other families to provide meals, cards and gifts for ill parishioners who oftentimes are left lonely without support during their recovery.
Amanda and Catherine Gores – Beverly Hills, California
Amanda and Catherine Gores’ EpiPals project saves lives through financial support for and education about youth allergies. In a little over two years, these sisters have raised nearly three-quarters of a million dollars to help children receive expensive, life-saving EpiPens. (An EpiPen is an injection device that delivers epinephrine, or adrenaline, to counteract a severe allergic reaction.) Through a partnership with a children’s hospital, EpiPals plans to support a clinical trial with the goal of curing severe childhood allergies.
The Murray Family – Owings, Maryland
Decades ago, Jerome and Grace Murray established a family foundation to enable multiple generations of their family to serve their communities through volunteer service and grant making. Today, more than 200 family members of all ages participate and make an impact on a wide variety of social issues.
The Palmer Family – Oceanside, California
For the last 10 years and counting, the Palmer Family has used their time, treasure and influence to recruit other families to join their efforts in purchasing, preparing and serving meals for 2,000 homeless people at a nearby shelter. Because of the Palmers’ contribution, the shelter was able to progress from serving only in the winter months to being open year-round.
The Pinnt Family – Los Angeles, California
While managing busy work schedules and the lives of two teenagers, Danielle and Kevin Pinnt see volunteerism as a way to spend meaningful, quality time with their teenage boys. The Pinnts, along with their sons, Noah and Xander, deliberately schedule time for hands-on volunteer projects that allow them to give back or serve alongside other families with children. Their “family” time is an inspirational model of how active families can give back while growing closer to one another.
The Sjolseth Family – McKinney, Texas
Through their blog, Pennies of Time, the Sjolseths make volunteering more feasible for busy families by demonstrating how small increments of time from people of all ages can make immeasurable contributions to the circumstances of others.
The Turocy-Pepin Family – Summerville, South Carolina
Lisa Turocy is a master gardener and recruited her own family to help leverage that expertise to support Katie’s Krops, a nonprofit that engages 83 community gardens across 27 states. Together they recruit and educate hundreds of volunteers of all ages to grow quality produce for marginalized communities across the nation.
The Ulloa Family – Weston, Florida
Sometimes children can guide their parents and siblings on meaningful volunteer journeys. That’s just what teenager Nicolas Ulloa does as a project leader, engaging more than a hundred volunteers for The Ulloas’ favorite volunteer activity, Movies, Muffins and Beyond. Families dealing with the stress of extreme medical conditions can be torn apart, and Movies, Muffins and Beyond provides those families with monthly moments of normalcy through family-friendly movies, food and fun.
The Yamaato Family – Atlanta, Georgia
A former AmeriCorps member, Joyce Yamaato continues her family’s centuries-old tradition of service to others. The Yamaato family – Joyce, her husband, Brent, and their children Jack and Ansley – approach service as an opportunity to both make an impact and help their children understand the underlying social issues that their service projects address. Whether it’s using a blog to encourage other families to give back in nearby communities or leading a bake sale to raise funds for clean drinking water in Africa, the Yamaatos strive to make their impact around the globe.
About The Walt Disney Company
The Walt Disney Company, together with its subsidiaries and affiliates, is a leading diversified international entertainment and media enterprise with the following 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. For more information visit, thewaltdisneycompany.com/citizenship or twitter.com/CitizenDisney.
About 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 bringing the power of people to bear where it matters most. For more information, go to pointsoflight.org.
generationOn is the youth service division of Points of Light, igniting the power of kids and teens to make their mark on the world. generationOn inspires, equips and mobilizes hundreds of thousands of kids and teens annually to take action through service, service learning and youth leadership initiatives. It also provides tools and resources to kids, teens, families, youth practitioners and educators to help kids change the world and themselves through service. generationOn, spearheads Family Volunteer Day and provides tools and resources to kids, teens, families, youth practitioners and educators to help kids change the world and themselves through service. For more information, go to pointsoflight.org/signature-events/family-volunteer-day.