The Aguirre family from McAllen, Texas, were announced today on Good Morning America as the first-ever Disney and Points of Light Volunteer Family of the Year!
The Aguirres were surprised live on-air with a special visit from Mickey Mouse and GMA’s Will Reeve, who invited them to a week-long vacation at Walt Disney World Resort, where they will be the guests of honor at a super celebration for Family Volunteer Day. Plus, they received $10,000 for the organization that nominated them, San Juan Diego Catholic Regional High School — and a surprise additional $10,000 for their own nonprofit, Emily’s Meals.
The Aguirres, parents Coni and Rick and daughters Emily and Erica, started their volunteer journey four years ago when a then 6-year-old Emily saw a homeless person for the first time and asked her parents how they could help. That question prompted the family to create Emily’s Meals, which now provides food to 40 homeless people every day. Learn more about the Aguirre family’s volunteer work.
Disney and Points of Light teamed up to celebrate the power of family volunteering by launching the search for the Volunteer Family of the Year in May.
After submissions from nonprofit organizations all around the country, the Aguirres, along with four other finalist families; the Orlandos, the Bell-Wallaces, the Jeevanayagams and the Nepolas, were featured on Good Morning America ahead on an online vote to find the winner.
Today the other finalist families were surprised with the news that Chairman of Disney Parks, Experiences and Products Bob Chapek — so impressed with their volunteer work — is inviting them all to Walt Disney World Resort, too! In addition, Disney will give each of the families’ organizations $5,000 to continue their important work.
All five families will join Points of Light and Disney parks and resorts around the world in celebrating Family Volunteer Day, a global day of service that recognizes the power of families working together to support their communities, on November 23.
Visit Disney Parks Blog on Nov. 18 for more information on Family Volunteer Day global celebrations and how you can join in, and tune into Good Morning America on Friday, Nov. 29, to catch up on all the excitement of the families’ trip to Walt Disney World.
If you and your family would like to get involved with family volunteering, you can find opportunities in your area or search DIY projects that cover a variety of issue areas. Nonprofits and schools in the United States can join the Disney Family Volunteering Reward Program and earn Disney Parks tickets by hosting volunteer family events.