Is this your year to volunteer? More Americans resolve to help others
2010-01-03 · By Editor
According to research conducted on behalf of Disney Parks and HandsOn Network, 2010 could be the year of “helping hands and giving hearts.” The survey, conducted by New York-based Kelton Research in November 2009, found that 59 percent of Americans plan to volunteer in 2010.
Survey results also showed that 41 percent of Americans would rather pledge to help others, such as volunteering, than resolve to do something that is purely self-serving.
HandsOn Network, the nation’s largest volunteer network, is working with Disney to make 2010 the ideal year to realize those goals and make volunteering a family resolution.
Beginning on Jan 1, 2010, Disney Parks officially launches “Give a Day, Get a Disney Day,” a first-of-its-kind initiative with the help of HandsOn Network. Through the program, Disney Parks hopes to inspire 1 million people to perform a day of volunteer service for a participating organization in 2010 by giving them a free, one-day admission ticket to a Walt Disney World Resort or Disneyland Resort theme park.
The new volunteer promotion falls right in line with the recent survey results which showed that 52 percent of Americans surveyed identified spending more time together as an important goal of 2010, followed by 30 percent who selected volunteering as foreseeable goals.
A Family That Volunteers Together …
The Kelton Research survey found that more parents than single adults (68 percent vs. 55 percent) plan to volunteer in some way when the New Year arrives.
Volunteerism also has its “youth movement.” The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that young adults, ages 16-24, are helping lead the way in volunteerism — with more than 441,000 young volunteers in 2008 versus 2007. It also found that the youth today believe it is essential and “very important” to help others in need.
And according to Just Kid Inc., 37 percent of kids, 44 percent of tweens and 46 percent of teens said they would do more volunteering if given the opportunity.
How to Get Involved and Volunteer
HandsOn Network has 250 on-the-ground volunteer action centers across the country and connects volunteers to more than 70,000 non-profit agencies that need help. Below are examples of volunteer opportunities available through HandsOn Network and its local affiliates.
- Plant, weed and tend a community garden
- Read to or spend time with children at a local daycare center or shelter
- Assemble backpacks or supplies for under-resourced schools
- Help spruce up a local school, library or outdoor park
- Visit nursing homes to play games, make crafts or share talents with senior residents
Through volunteering, communities benefit from the small steps taken to help rebuild local areas, and nonprofits receive valuable assistance. Since 2007, the number of people working to fix a community problem has risen by 31 percent, according to Volunteering in America 2009.
Starting Jan. 1, guests may pre-register and sign up for an eligible volunteer opportunity at disneyparks.com. Disney theme park ticket quantities for this program are limited. Must be at least age 6 to participate. One admission ticket per eligible person. Other terms and conditions apply. See the website for details.
For other ways to volunteer in Long Beach, check out the “non-profit” category on EverythingLongBeach.com/non-profits/.