HONG KONG (Feb. 5, 2019) – On the first day of the Chinese New Year (CNY) today, Hong Kong Disneyland Resort (HKDL) launched a new scheme fostering family volunteerism, as part of the successful “Give a Day, Get a Disney Day” (GADGADD) program. More than 10 NGOs and corporations have been invited to join the scheme through Agency for Volunteer Service (AVS) which encourages families to do voluntary work together. Once families achieve targeted service hours within a designated period, they will be given park tickets in appreciation of their volunteer work.
HKDL invited about 100 family volunteers from the Neighbourhood Advice-Action Council and the Outlying Islands Women’s Association to celebrate CNY at HKDL today and support the launch of the scheme. Financial Secretary Paul Chan was the guest of honor at the ceremony. An award-winning lion dance team formed by students from the Buddhist Fat Ho Memorial College in Tai O performed to share new year blessings with guests.
“HKDL strives to serve the local community and collaborate with different organizations to launch various social services projects. For example, the “Give a Day, Get a Disney Day” program encourages the public to do voluntary work, accumulating more than 14 million volunteer hours,” said Chan. “This new scheme fosters family volunteerism, and strengthen family cohesion to help each other in the society. Additionally, the Disney VoluntEARS formed by cast members of HKDL are also dedicated to community services for the needy in the society, promoting creative talent among the youth and environmental protection work.”
In 2010, HKDL launched the “Give a Day, Get a Disney Day” program and AVS helped to invite different organizations and volunteers to join. Every volunteer who completes 10 hours of service is rewarded with a complimentary one-day admission ticket to HKDL in appreciation. The program has been running for almost 10 years, with about 600 to 800 NGOs and corporations participating each year. HKDL has donated more than 450,000 one-day administration tickets to support the program since.
The new “Family Volunteerism” scheme aims to encourage family members to do voluntary work together. A family needs to contribute only a total of eight hours of volunteer work collectively to get a complimentary one-day ticket. For a family of four, for example, each member can do two hours of voluntary work to reach that goal. Each family must have at least two members taking part in the scheme.
Fostering family volunteerism to build a caring society
The Fung’s family encouraged their daughter Sin-ying to do voluntary work since she was three years old, including flag-selling, tree planting, social performance, elderly visit, family story time etc. Whenever
possible, they would accompany their kid to do volunteer work together. To them, the time is well spent for not only being together but also a good lesson for the kid. “As a parent, we should set an example and teach the next generation the importance of caring for the society and the underprivileged. The ‘Family Volunteerism’ scheme helps encourage parents to bring along their kids and contribute to voluntary works for the community,” Mrs. Fung said.
The eight-year-old Sin-ying, now in primary three, has been joining the storybook session organized by HKDL since she was young. And now, she will visit the elderly and share stories with them. Mrs. Fung said Sin-ying learned how to share and build up her confidence through voluntary work. Sin-ying got to visit HKDL through taking part in “Give a Day, Get a Disney Day,” and met her favorite Minnie Mouse after helping others.
Flora Chung, Chief Executive Officer of AVS, said, “Nowadays, many parents worry about the development of the children. Allowing the kids to do voluntary work at an earlier stage will be a good civic education
opportunity to them. They will learn to be charitable and considerate, as well as build up communication and problem-solving skills. Most importantly, voluntary work allows a family to work as a team, have some fun and meaningful time together, enhance their social network and foster positive values.”
Bringing Disney magic to the community of Hong Kong
Stephanie Young, the new managing director of HKDL, joined the CNY celebrations to meet with guests and the media. She thanked AVS for sharing the same belief with HKDL, actively promoting voluntary work and co-creating the guidelines with HKDL to foster family volunteerism.
“Chinese New Year is a time for reunion, bonding, and spreading goodwill. I am very glad that HKDL has a tradition of marking the opening of CNY with a meaningful cause to give back to the community,” said Young. “I am very happy that HKDL can play a part as a catalyst to encourage family volunteering, and am sure this will become a new trend under the concerted efforts of all our partners.”
Every year, HKDL welcomes more than 100,000 underprivileged community members to visit the park by donating tickets through its Community Involvement Program. The resort also continued to promote inclusion and societal happiness through programs such as “Give a Day, Get a Disney Day,” as well as the “#SaveFoodGoViral Boot Camp,” which created social media campaigns to promote food conservation. HKDL also collaborated on Hospital Play, which supports children’s play programs at Princess Margaret Hospital, and recognized secondary students who made remarkable contributions in volunteering through the “We Did It!” initiative. The Disney VoluntEARS team also contributes more than 7,000 hours of skills and services a year. HKDL will continue to contribute to society.