NEW YORK, Nov. 18, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The holidays provide an opportunity to spend quality time with family, and there is no better way to kick off the holiday season than to participate in service projects and perform acts of kindness during Family Volunteer Day, on Saturday, November 21.
For 25 years, Family Volunteer Day has offered families a chance to experience and share the true spirit of the holiday season. Strategically held on the Saturday before Thanksgiving, Family Volunteer Day is a national day of service organized by generationOn, the youth and family division of Points of Light, the largest organization in the world dedicated to volunteer service, and sponsored by Disney Friends for Change, a global initiative that inspires kids and their families to make lasting, positive change by helping people, communities, and the planet.
Whether through group service opportunities found on generationOn.org/fvd or downloadable DIY service projects families can complete on their own at home, Family Volunteer Day offers a chance for families to experience the benefits of volunteerism and service, and instill the spirit of giving in their children. Family Volunteer Day resources are available in English and Spanish on the website.
"generationOn is grateful for Disney's continued support of Family Volunteer Day," said Kathy Saulitis, senior vice president, external affairs, generationOn. "For 25 years this day has been an opportunity for parents and caregivers to teach their children to care and share, be compassionate and have fun together while doing good in their community."
Champion figure skater Jason Brown grew up outside Chicago in a family that believes in the power of volunteerism as a way to bond while helping others. Brown visits local Ronald McDonald House Charities around the world and donates the stuffed animals that fans give him at competitions.
"I love when people come together for a cause," says Brown, an Olympic bronze medalist and the 2015 U.S. National Figure Skating Champion. "No matter what you do for a living, what your background is, how old you are, how young you are – volunteering brings everyone together as one, as a community. It's teamwork at its best."
Families who register online at generationOn.org/fvd and upload a story with a photo of their Family Volunteer Day service to the photo wall will be eligible to win one of three grand prizes of $1,000 VISA gift cards and 10 "family night out" prize packages for dinner and a movie valued at $160 each. Additionally, families can use social media with the hashtag #familyvolunteerday to share ideas and raise awareness of the Day.
"It is well documented that children raised with a volunteer's heart become more compassionate adults who make giving back a regular part of their lives," said Dr. Michele Borba, author and renowned parenting expert. "By taking pause during the busiest time of the year to spend time – even an hour or two – volunteering as a family, we are showing our children that giving back to others and to our communities is one of the most important things you can do to help make our world a better place."
A signature Family Volunteer Day event will be held at Downtown Disney on November 21. Disney VoluntEARS and guests will participate in service activities including making snack packs for the Orange County Food Bank, writing postcards to service men and women, and participating in various environmental themed projects.
"Family volunteerism offers a meaningful way for kids and families to take action in making a real difference in caring for the world we share," said Kevin Callahan, vice president of community and engagement, Corporate Citizenship at Disney. "Disney is proud to sponsor Family Volunteer Day to inspire a commitment to a lifelong love of service, where we envision a brighter tomorrow and we aspire to help make that dream come true."
To promote Family Volunteer Day, generationOn developed a series of creative ads that demonstrate the time it takes to do good for others, by comparing the time to everyday activities.
For more ideas and inspiration on how families can make a difference on November 21 and throughout the year, visit generationOn.org/fvd.
generationOn, the youth service division of Points of Light, inspires, equips and mobilizes kids and teens to make their mark on the world through volunteer service. Programs equip youth with the skills to make a difference, while also supporting the development of caring and empathy. Through service with generationOn, youth are empowered to be compassionate changemakers in their communities and the world. For more information, visit www.generationOn.org.
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 www.pointsoflight.org.
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.