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We all know that Disney is magical but do you know about the special magic that happens behind the scenes? Find out how Disney is doing their part to help make the world a better place.
Thanks so much to Disney for inviting me to attend the Disney Social Media Moms Celebration. All opinions are 100% my own!
Disney Magic Behind The Scenes
We all know Disney is a truly magical place! I feel it from the second we pull into one of their hotels and they say “Welcome Home” to the time we leave the parks and they wave goodbye with giant Mickey hands. What you may not know about is the magic that happens behinds the scenes.
Disney’s philosophy is that happy people make the world a better place. However, I never knew just how much they did to inspire hope and positive change until I heard John Breckow speak for the first time. As Director of Corporate Citizenship, he is part of the team that partners with the Make A Wish Foundation, puts together Disney’s volunteer incentive programs and much more.
One thing that he does best is that he makes me cry…every single time I hear him speak! I know by now that if he walks out, I’d better have my tissues ready! By the time he’s done sharing his stories, everyone in the room is wiping their eyes. He’s that inspiring and hearing all the things that Disney does behind the scenes makes me love them even more. They truly care and want to make a real difference in people’s lives.
Here are some of the ways they’re doing that…
Make A Wish Partnership
The Make A Wish Foundation has been partnered with Disney since the very first wish kid in 1981. Since then, Disney and Make a Wish have been synonymous with each other. Disney’s help alone makes one wish come true every hour, granting 10k wishes a year.
Making dreams come true isn’t easy. Fulfilling just one wish involves an entire team of about 200 people. Since 1980, Disney has granted 130K wishes and they’re responsible for half the wishes granted through Make A Wish. Some are easier than others, like inviting Tommy meet his favorite Disney character, Wall-e.
Others wishes are much more involved. The story I remember most was of a young man, sick with an incurable disease, whose dying wish was to dance with Belle. Disney had everything prepared but at the last minute, the Disney fan took a turn for the worse and had to be hospitalized. He was so ill that he couldn’t even get out of his hospitable bed.
John Breckow and his team were determined that he would have his dance. They brought Belle to his hospital room and because he couldn’t get out of bed, Belle rolled his bed slowly around the floor to the music, dancing the entire time. He may have been smiling but the rest of us had tears rolling down our faces as we watched the video. This was true Disney magic.
Points of Light
Disney has also partnered with Points Of Light to encourage voluntEARism. This program awards complimentary park tickets to nonprofits and schools who participate in volunteer projects. It’s such a great way to encourage families to volunteer more.
Today there are 7,674 organizations and schools, and 554,000 volunteers, participating in the Points of Light partnership. It really works too! Over 1,400 participating organizations are new to volunteering, with more joining all the time. Volunteers have qualified for complimentary Disney passes by contributing 2.5 million hours and completing 11,351 Disney approved projects. What a great way to get people working together to do something positive!
Disney also works with Points of Light to conduct a nationwide search for Family of the Year. The chosen family is invited to Walt Disney World for a special event on Family Volunteer Day. In addition to the big event, that family’s sponsor organization receives $10,000. The number of voluntEARS continues to grow, with almost 4 million hours logged since 2012.
#ShareYourEars With Disney
Disney believes that “happy people make the world a better place” and I couldn’t agree more. I love that Disney helps create magic for schools and nonprofits so that happiness can spread to as many people as possible. They truly want to make a difference.
One way they get the word out is with #ShareYourEars. Disney features the hashtag across all their platforms, including Good Morning America, ESPN, and D23, the convention of the official Disney fan club. #ShareYourEars has had 400+ celebrity posts, over 2 million participants, and more than 50 million engagements.
It’s not only easy to get involved, it’s fun! When Disney announces the next #ShareYourEars campaigns, just take a photo showing off your Mickey ears (or any other creative Disney ears) and post it to Facebook, Instagram or Twitter with the hashtag. With every picture uploaded, Disney makes a donation to the Make A Wish foundation. It’s a great way to help others and plus, who doesn’t love uploading a picture of themself wearing their ears?! I know I do!
A visit to Disney always involves plenty of pixie dust and magic and that’s equally true behind the scenes. It’s just one more reason to love Disney…and be inspired to do our part too.
Learn more about what else Disney is up to…