From the Disney Parks Blog and written by: Thomas Smith
The Aguirre family from McAllen, TX 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 weeklong vacation at Walt Disney World Resort, where they will be the guests of honor at a super celebration for Family Volunteer Day. Plus, they will receive $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 with daughters Emily and Erica, started their volunteer journey four years ago when a then six-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. You can hear more about the Aguirre family’s volunteer work here.
Disney and Points of Light, a global nonprofit dedicated to accelerating people-powered change, teamed up to celebrate thepower 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 was so impressed with their volunteer work, he was inviting them all to Walt Disney World Resort too! In addition, Disney is also giving each of the families’ organizations $5,000 to continue their important work.
All five families will join 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 November 18 for more information on Family Volunteer Day global celebrations and how you can join in, and tune into Good Morning America on Friday, November 29 to catch up on all the excitement of the families’ trip to Walt Disney World.
If you would like to get involved with family volunteering visit Points of Light to find opportunities in your area or to search DIY projects that cover a variety of issues. 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.