From the Disney Parks Blog and written by: Thomas Smith
Today, the Bell-Wallace family from Pickerington, Ohio became one of the five finalists in the running to be named the Disney and Points of Light Volunteer Family of the Year!
The Bell-Wallaces volunteer story began seventeen years ago when Kevin and Carey Wallace approached Dreams on Horseback to ask if they could offer a therapeutic horse program for their four-year-old daughter Morgan, who had been diagnosed with autism. Kevin and Carey were so impressed with Morgan’s progress, they have been dedicated to supporting the program ever since. Morgan’s grandparents, Darlene and George Bell also joined as volunteers, with Darlene going on to create a new program to help support veterans experiencing PTSD. Now, every event at Dreams on Horseback features the volunteering efforts of the entire Wallace-Bell family —all three generations of them!
The Bell-Wallace family were one of thousands of families across the country nominated for the Disney and Points of Light Volunteer Family of the Year contest by schools and nonprofits registered with the Disney Family Volunteering Reward Program. They now join the Orlando and Aguirre families as one of the five finalists in the running to win.
On Friday Oct. 11, Good Morning America will launch a nation-wide online vote where you will be able to vote for the family that you think should be named the first ever Disney and Points of Light Volunteer Family of the Year!
Make sure you tune into GMA and visit Disney Parks Blog on Friday for a recap of the all the amazing finalists and details on how you can vote! You can also join the conversation by sharing the families’ stories using #VolunteerTogether
The winning family will be announced on GMA on Nov. 1 and will receive a dream vacation to Walt Disney World where they will be the guests of honor at a special event to celebrate Family Volunteer Day on Nov. 23. The nonprofit or school who nominated the family will also receive $10,000 to continue their important work in the community.
If you and your family would like to get involved with family volunteering, you can visit Points of Light to find opportunities in your area or search DIY projects that cover a variety of issue areas. Nonprofits and schools in the U.S. can join the Disney Family Volunteering Reward Program and earn Disney Parks tickets by hosting volunteer family events.