The Walt Disney Company often makes efforts to give back to communities, especially those in the area of some of its major theme parks. For example, today, Walt Disney World Resort in Florida welcomed Gold Star Families to Magic Kingdom in honor of Memorial Day.
Today, the Disney Parks Blog also shared a story of Disney VoluntEARS’ commitment to making reading more accessible to families in need. Apparently, over 100 of the magically named VoluntEARS came from Disneyland Resort and Disney Publishing Worldwide to inspire reading even while most schools go into their summer recesses.
How did they give back? Disney donated 40,000 children’s books to families, kids, and educators in Anaheim. Disney has worked with the nonprofit organization First Book for over twenty years and donated over 90 million books. The goal is to create “educational equity by providing free and low-cost books, resources, and other essentials to educators serving children in need.”
Guadalupe Gomez, the library services manager at Anaheim Public Library said,
How many families with three or four kids would be able to go to any bookstore and purchase multiple books for their children? Giving our children and families books is so important to us… to be able to expand their literacy and love of reading.
Disney hopes to inspire the next generation of storytellers. This year some donated books include Disney Frozen Polar Nights: Cast Into Darkness, The Little Mermaid: Make A Splash, Luca: Silenzio, Bruno!: When in Doubt, Shout It Out!, Spider-Man’s Social Dilemma, and more.
Anaheim Mayor Ashleigh Aitken speaks about the impact of Disney’s book donations,
Reading, libraries, and volunteering are what really make a difference in our community. A book can change a life, and libraries can be where that change happens. And volunteers, like those at Disney, can be the ones to make it all happen. It is heartwarming to see all of this come together for kids and families in our city.
The city of Anaheim recognizes that Disneyland is a big part of its culture. Maybe the next Walt Disney or Bob Iger is reading one of those donated books right now!