Disney is a family company – so it’s no surprise that they are committed to strengthening communities, and one of those is their ongoing commitment to military and veteran families. Recently, they began teaming up with Blue Star Families – a nonprofit for and by military families – to provide support to their Books on Bases events that encourage reading among military children. Just a couple past weekends, more than 250 Army and Marine Corps family members from Joint Base Fort Myer-Henderson Hall outside of Washington, DC received free books provided by Disney through First Book. In addition to group readings and books, families participated in craft activities with Disney Volunteers and even got a surprise visit by Mickey Mouse himself! Disney’s donation to the program – totaling 30,000 books – will help military parents make reading a daily activity and foster creativity in kids, ultimately impacting tens of thousands of lives. Blue Star Families created the program after a study showed that military children face unique literacy challenges as a direct result of their parents’ periodic deployments, long separations and frequent school changes. The donation comes just months after Disney announced that Heroes Work Here – an initiative to hire, train and support returning veterans – would expand. The original goal of the program was to provide at least 1,000 jobs and career opportunities to returning U.S. veterans over three years. In March 2013, Disney Chairman and CEO Bob Iger spoke to the success of those efforts and pledged to hire an additional 1,000 veterans over the next two years. Another important part of the initiative is that Disney provides training, advice and other support services to veterans.
Walt Disney Parks and Resorts have a long history of supporting children’s hospitals, starting with Walt Disney’s efforts to help develop and grow Children’s Hospital of Orange County (CHOC). That commitment lives on today at CHOC and at children’s...
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