Volunteers join Disney Day of Giving

OLNEY - October 17, 2009 Someone at Thurgood Marshall Elementary school must have wished upon a star for a new paint job.

Close to a hundred volunteers showed up to pitch in, with useful pointers from none other than Mickey Mouse. Disney picked this school to highlight its "Give a Day, Get a Disney Day" volunteer initiative.

"You give volunteer service in your community and you sign up through the Hands On Network, which we're working with, then you'll get a free admission to either a Walt Disneyland theme park or a Walt Disney World theme park," Greg Buchanan of Disney parks said.

Thurgood Marshall Elementary wasn't the only school getting a fresh coat of paint. Thousands of people fanned out across the city as part of the Greater Philadelphia Cares volunteer marathon.

"The work that gets done on a day like today with so many people in mass accomplishes work that they might not get done for a year," Renee Archawski of Greater Philadelphia Cares said.

The volunteers may have given up hours of their personal time, but they're also getting something very valuable in return.

"I just like to help. It makes me feel good about myself," Jackie Jeffkin of Lansdale said.

"It's good to come and see the city and take part in helping the school look better, if it makes the kids feel good about being in school here , it makes it better for us," Amos Tang of Widener School of Law said.

And good things really do come to those who give something back. Sometimes, the unexpected.

The Disney program for free park tickets goes into effect next year, but these volunteers got an early bonus, a free ticket of their own right away.

Volunteers can find work through the "Hands On Network" and, in return, receive a free ticket to a Disneyland or Disney World theme park. 

The program begins on January 1, 2010.

The goal is to inspire 1 million volunteers in the U.S. and Canada.

To help get the word out, Mickey Mouse and the Disney "Jammitors" are coming to Philadelphia to take part in the "Philadelphia Cares" event on Oct. 16-17.

RELATED LINK: More info on "Give a Day, Get a Disney Day"
RELATED LINK: Philadelphia Cares

You must sign up through the "Give a Day, Get a Disney Day" web page to be eligible.

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