Give a Day, Get a Disney Day: A Success for Non-Profits -
Award-winning travel guidebooks
Home Florida - Walt Disney World Caribbean - Disney Cruise Line California - Disneyland Resort Anywhere and Everywhere! Travelers Store Message Boards PassPorter's Club Help!
  About Us  |  Customs Office   |   Register Your Book   |   Book Updates   |  Newsletter  |  Articles  |  Photos  |   Follow Us on
WDW Planning Articles

WDW Traveling Articles

WDW Lodging Articles

WDW Touring Articles

WDW Dining Articles

WDW Making Magic Articles
'Dream It! Do it! My Half Century Creating Disney's Magic Kingdoms' by Marty Sklar
2013 Expedition Everest Challenge
A Birds' Eye View
A Magical Wedding Day
A Pirates League For Us
A Trio of Backstage Disney Tours
Adventuring Forth
Amazing Autograph Books
Amazingly E-Racing the Guilt
Animal Kingdom Lodge
Around the World on a Segway
Backstage Magic Tour
Backstage Tour
Be Our Guest: Perfecting the Art of Customer Service by Disney Institute with Theodore Kinni
Behind The Scenes
Behind the Scenes
Behind the Scenes
Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique for Boys
Bringing 'Frozen' to Life at Disney
Busch Gardens Tour
Cast Member Confidential
Cast Members Save the Day
Chaperoning at Walt Disney World
Christmas Day At Disney
Christmas Day Delights
Christmas In November
Cinderella Royal Family 5k
Cirque du Soleil
Dashing Through The ... Snow?
Dealing With the Post-Vacation Disney Blues
Decade of Dreams
Discovering the Magic
Disney Every Day
Disney Fan Gathering
Disney Podcasts
Disney Tech Primer - Part 2
Disney Vacation Countdown
Disney Vacations
Disney World and Down Syndrome - A Winning Combination
Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge
Disney's Hollywood Studios Then and Now
Disney's PhotoPass and PhotoPass Plus
Disney's Sinister Soiree - A Delightfully Evil Treat
Fireworks Photo Ops!
Gardens of The World Tour
Getting Your Disney Fix
Give a Day, Get a Disney Day
Grad Nites @ Disney
Holiday Highlights at Walt Disney World
Holidays At The World
Holidays At The World
Horseback Trail Rides at Disney's Fort Wilderness
How I Helped My Scaredy-Cat Kid
How Young Is Too Young?
IllumiNations Reflections of Earth
Keeping the Magic Alive
Keys To The Kingdom
Last Day Disney Blues
Learning To Like Disney
Making the Wait Magical
Meeting Marty Sklar
Meeting Mickey Mouse
Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party
Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party
Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party
Munching With Mickey
My Disney Wins
My Hidden Mickey Surprise
My Three Sons
Our Decade of Disney
Our Happily Ever After
Pack Your Pixie Dust
Pin Trading at Disney
Pirates & Princess Party
Pirates and Pals Fireworks Voyage
Pirates at Disney Parks Worldwide
Pirates, Pirates Everywhere!
Pleasure Island
Preserving Memories with PassPorter
Rediscovering Walt Disney World
Renting Surrey Bikes at Disney's Boardwalk
Richard Petty Driving Experience
Romance at Walt Disney World
Rumor Round-Up
runDisney Races - Better with Friends
Say Cheese!
Say Cheese!
Scrapbooking Disney
Senses: A Disney Spa at the Grand Floridian
Soarin' Over South Africa
Specialty Cruises
Spreading a Bit of Pixie Dust
Spreading A Little Pixie Dust
Star Wars Weekends
Stories from a Theme Park Insider by Robert Niles
Summer at Disney vs. Winter in Michigan
Survey Marks
Taking It Easy at Walt Disney World
Teeing Off at Disney
The 2009 Holiday Season at Walt Disney World
The 2014 Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend
The American Idol Experience
The Behinds the Seeds Tour at Epcot
The Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund
The Laugh Floor Comedy Club
The Magic Behind Our Steam Trains
The Magic of Disney
The Monorails of Disney's Wonderful World of Theme Parks
The Osborne Spectacle of Lights
The Rest of the "World" For Kids
The Richard Petty Driving Experience
The Richard Petty Exotic Driving Experience
The School that Walt Built
The Seas with Nemo and Friends
The Sunrise Safari
The Unwitting Scrapper
The Vault of Walt by Jim Korkis
The Year Without Disney
There is More to Disney Than Rides
Three Generations of Disney Lovers
Tips & Tricks
Top 10 Disney Questions
Tower of Terror 10 Miler
Travels with
Unexpected Pleasures & Treasures
Unusual Photo Opportunities
Using YouTube for Disney Magic
Valentine's Day at Walt Disney World
Walt Disney World At The Holidays
Walt Disney World Hidden History - Remnants of Former Attractions and Other Tributes by Kevin Yee
Walt Disney World With the Grandkids
What A Wonderful World (of Disney)
What I Miss About a Disney Christmas
What Keeps Us Coming Back to Disney?
When Bad Trips Happen to Good People
When Illness Interferes with Your Vacation
When to Splurge and When to Save at Walt Disney World
Where to Find the Best Views in Walt Disney World - Part 3
Where to Find the Best Views in Walt Disney World - Part 4
Where to Find the Best Views in Walt Disney World - Part 5
Wilderness Back Trail Adventure
Ye Olde Magic Kingdom
Yuletide Magic

WDW General Travel Articles

View all PassPorter articles
Article Tools
Print Article
Download PDF
Read Comments on This Article

Give a Day, Get a Disney Day: A Success for Non-Profits

Photo illustrating Walt Disney World - Making Magic
by Jodi Isom, PassPorter Guest Contributor
Last modified 04/01/2010

Cool Tip: Click here to get a FREE PDF version of this article, fully formatted to print and put into your PassPorter Deluxe Binder!

Filed in Articles > Walt Disney World > Making Magic  

Now that the Disney "Give a Day, Get a Disney Day" program has officially closed to new volunteers, I wanted to write about the affect it had on one non-profit organization. I work as the Manager of Volunteer Services at Habitat for Humanity of the Greater Fox Cities Area of Wisconsin.

When I first heard about this program, I got very excited because it combined two things I love very much – Habitat for Humanity/volunteering and Disney! You see I am a Disney fanatic myself – a DVC owner, a D23 inaugural member, a regular annual passholder and someone who has been to Walt Disney World over 20 times since childhood. So naturally I was thrilled to be able to combine part of my job with my Disney passion.

Here at Habitat for Humanity in Wisconsin, we don't build houses in the winter. It's just too cold! So normally we don't have a lot of volunteer activity happening in January, when this program began. However, the Disney program came during the perfect year for us. We had just bought an older building to house our offices the previous May and since we were very busy building houses that summer and fall, we put off remodeling our office until winter.

We had plenty of volunteer help from our group of regulars for the office remodel project, but I was concerned about how we would feed these volunteers. We have restaurants and local volunteers who typically make lunches for our construction volunteers during our building season, but many of them like to "take the winter off" from this expectation.

Photo illustrating Walt Disney World - Making Magic
Minnie's "Habitat" in the Magic Kingdom

Also, I was hoping to find a volunteer opportunity for the Disney program that could involve families with children as young as age 6 (Disney's minimum age for the program). So I decided to see if we could get our volunteers fed through the Disney program. I submitted my volunteer opportunity on the Volunteer Opportunity Portal on the website and it was immediately accepted. I titled it "Habitat meals … ideal for families." That title seemed to catch a lot of people's attention.

The very next day my volunteer opportunity was posted and the flood gates opened! It was a good thing I was not as busy as other times of the year when this program began because I was flooded with emails and calls from families wanting to sign up. Each week I was receiving approximately 20-30 contacts about this program. It was very popular!

It was fun connecting with new volunteers and getting them plugged in to helping Habitat for Humanity in this way. Basically I asked each family to commit to providing one meal for our office remodel volunteers. They had to work as a family to plan the meal, shop for the items, cook and bake to prepare the meal and then deliver it to our Habitat office and serve it to our construction volunteers. I also offered a few other opportunities for adults, like warehouse work. A co-worker of mine at our Habitat ReStore (a retail store associated with Habitat for Humanity) also joined in on this program and she was able to offer meal needs too as well as many other needs at the store, like cashiers, warehouse work and generally helping to keep the ReStore running.

In addition to numerous families who volunteered with us, I had two sports teams that signed up to help us out. One was a softball team from a local university that spent a day doing a special project at our Habitat ReStore. The other was a volleyball team whose members are going to Disney in June for a competition. They split up their large group and helped do two things for us. They fed a group dinner for a training session we were providing to our newly found Speaker's Bureau volunteers. They also fed and ran the children's area for us with approximately 40 kids in attendance at our annual recognition event for our other volunteers.

We even had a partnership with the cast of "Little House on the Prairie: the Musical" that is currently touring the country and also partnering with Habitat for Humanity affiliates in the cities where their musical is being performed. So one lucky local family who volunteered with us through the Disney program even got to serve breakfast to this cast, including Melissa Gilbert!

One of our new volunteers, Elisa Tremblay, her husband, and three of her five children provided lunch to our Habitat ReStore and found themselves featured in the newspaper! They plan to go to Disney this summer for the Star Wars weekends at Disney's Hollywood Studios. Elisa said, "We thought it'd be a great way to get a ticket to Disney for the day. We have five kids, so any help getting into Disney is wonderful." She went on to say, "The kids have helped with Habitat for Humanity through their school and my husband helped out here before too, so we just thought it'd be a great place to come since we were already familiar with this cause." Louie Thein, a volunteer at the Habitat ReStore the day the Tremblay family donated lunch, said "We deeply appreciate it. It's a nice thing they're doing." Food is always a great way to show appreciation to people, especially volunteers!

Overall, we were able to utilize the help of 228 volunteers providing meals at our office remodel and another 174 at our Habitat ReStore. So that is over 400 new volunteers who have been exposed to volunteering with Habitat for Humanity just here in our community!

We do have plans to stay connected with these new volunteers. Both Habitat ReStore staff and I have kept track of the Disney volunteers and plan to invite them occasionally to help out with meals or other special events again. In fact, our largest annual fundraiser is just around the corner, a spring walk where we try to raise over $20,000. I plan to invite the families who volunteered for the Disney "Give a Day, Get a Disney Day" program to walk with us. Again, it's a perfect family volunteer opportunity!

It is our hope at this local non-profit that the result of this wonderful Disney program will be new volunteers who want to stay involved and help us provide home-ownership opportunities for families in need of a simple, decent, affordable home.

I also want to thank everyone who is reading this and volunteers already in their community. It people like you who make your community a better place by giving of your time, talents and treasures!

If you didn't have a chance to volunteer through the Disney program, please consider giving of your time and abilities to help out a local non-profit in need. YOU can make a world of difference!

About the Author:
Jodi Isom has served as the Manager of Volunteer Services at Habitat for Humanity, Greater Fox Cities Area (WI) for nine years. She is also an avid Disney fan! She lives in Appleton, WI with her husband David and two daughters, ages 17 & 14. Their next Disney trip is planned for June 2010.

Related Links:
Gardens of The World Tour - A Guided Tour During Epcot's International Flower and Garden Festival last updated 5/28/2009
Star Wars Weekends - Feel the Force at Disney's Hollywood Studios last updated 6/4/2009
Unusual Photo Opportunities - Getting Unique Photos at Disney last updated 6/18/2009
The Osborne Spectacle of Lights - Disney's Hollywood Studios last updated 7/6/2009
Dashing Through The ... Snow? - Sleigh Rides at Walt Disney World last updated 11/30/08

Reader Comments:

Jodi, thanks for such a great artilce! Our family has always been involved with volunteering and community service. My husband and I are both social workers and we feel it is important to instill these values in our children. When we heard about Give a Day Get a Day we were excite because we are planning to drive cross-country this summer to visit friends and family on the West Coast. Disneyland is one of the places we plan to visit. We have been to WDW twice, but never Disneyland. We volunteered for Project Linus, they make and distribute blankets to children in hospitals, homeless shelters, etc. Not only did we make blankets, but as an additional project for Girl Scouts, our daughters took on the task of sewing labels onto and distributing over 50 blankets to children. They have decided to continue to work with Project Linus. Thanks to Disney for such a terrific idea. And we can't wait to visit Disneyland.smiley for :)

     katydid2 on April 2, 2010 @ 10:25 am
We just returned from WDW. All 4 of my family members had participated in the volunteer program. We did litter collection together, which my kids really enjoyed. Everytime we drive on that road that we did, they look for more trash. We plan on going back & doing it again just for the volunteer spirit. We already had multi-day tickets so we used our vouchers for the fast pass exchange card. That was fantastic!! No waiting. It was really worth a few hours of sweating. Everytime we used the card, it made us feel good to know that we had done something good for someone else, but benefitted ourselves as well. smiley for :)It was a win-win situation.

     heatherwillmom on April 2, 2010 @ 10:37 am
My daughter and I volunteered last weekend at the Gilbert Fire Department in Gilbert AZ, to help spread the word about water safety. I really enjoyed it ... it was time my child and I were able to spend together, helping out for a very important cause. I was suprised and amazed that we have already received the email notification to print off our Disney vouchers! We plan to use them for Senior Ditch Day (my daughter is a Senior in High School) smiley for :D, so we are really looking forward to that! I think the "Give a Day, Get a Day" program was brilliant, and hope Disney is able to think of something just as clever for their next promotion. smiley for :waytogo:

     ilovedisney0_0 on April 2, 2010 @ 10:41 am
Like Jodi, I am a huge Disney fan, and I also spend a lot of hours each week volunteering. So when I heard about the Give a Day Get a Disney Day program, I signed up the animal shelter I volunteer at. We also had a great response from people. Our shelter is a rabbit shelter, and each Saturday we clean out all the buns cages. Big thanks to Disney for such a wonderful program

     collins316 on April 4, 2010 @ 4:36 pm

     TracyKim on April 4, 2010 @ 8:10 pm
View all 5 comments in forum thread

So what do you think? Click here to share your comments, feedback, and experiences on this article and topic!

(Note: You must be a member of our PassPorter Message Board Community to leave comments. Join today for free!)

Updated 04/01/2010 - Article #446 

Read additional articles from

Subscribe to our free e-mail newsletter, PassPorter News, published for more than 58,000 opt-in subscribers worldwide. As an added bonus for subscribing, you will receive a 20% discount coupon for the PassPorter Store -- no catch!

E-mail Address:

First Name:

E-mail Format:
-Text/Don't Know  



We respect your privacy and never sell or rent our subscriber list. Subscribing will not result in more spam! We guarantee it.

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Copyright 1999-2014
by PassPorter Travel Press, an imprint of MediaMarx, Inc.

Learn More With Our Award-Winning Guidebooks


RSS General PassPorter Community - Boards & Forums on Walt Disney World, Disneyland, Disney Cruise Line, and General Travel - Making More Magic: Everything Else at Walt Disney World!
PassPorter Community - Boards & Forums on Walt Disney World, Disneyland, Disn...
Discuss tours, holidays, special occasions, childcare, and other magical opportunities.

Post-Trip Disney Gift Card Magic For Us
by Her Dotness
13 Dec 2014 at 5:30pm
Was sorting through our gift card collection from the trip, all of which had been used, I thought. Stuck in a wad of receipts was one with a...
(click title above to view replies)

Discounts on Disney Vera Bradley!
by HollyH
25 Nov 2014 at 7:34am is having a sale on Disney Veras now until Wednesday. 10%-20% off (have to buy 3 Vera items to get 20%). Code VERALOVE There was...
(click title above to view replies)

Total Visits: 4400

PassPorter ~ 1998-2014 ~ 16 Years of Making Dreams Come True!
Publishers of bestselling travel guidebooks and proud recipients of 13 national book awards
About PassPorter
About Us
Site Map
Privacy Policy
Images & Artwork
News & Updates
Message Boards
Concierge Desk
Books & E-Books
Customs Office
Register Books
Book Updates
Help & Info
Finding Answers to Questions
Help Desk
Using Your PassPorter Forum
Store Customer Service
E-Mail Us
Follow Us Front Page (Updated Daily!)
PassPorter Newsletter (weekly and free)
Latest Posts
YouTube Channel
Questions? Check our Site Map and visit our Help Desk to learn how to contact us online, by e-mail, and by phone.
Please feel free to link to this page so that other vacationers can find it.