Inspiring Kids and Communities


Friends For Change
Disney Friends for Change: Project Green helps kids help the planet. And now, the program is uniting kids all around the world to make a positive change.

This year, Disney Friends for Change expanded globally, beginning in 19 countries in Latin America, including Mexico, Brazil, Argentina and Chile. The regional adaptation of the program featured Disney Channel talent in two localized versions: Amigos por el Mundo in Spanish-speaking countries and Amigos Transformando o Mundo in Brazil. In less than two months in Latin America, kids already took more than 500,000 pledges to help the planet.

The Company's businesses in Europe also joined Disney's global environmental campaign this year. In October 2010, Disney Friends for Change: Project Green launched simultaneously in 14 countries across Europe. Disney Friends for Change is now live in the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Denmark, Finland, Norway, and Sweden. The Disney Friends for Change interactive website is available in local languages and features local Disney Channel talent within each country. Disney Friends for Change in Europe and the U.S. promote the same NGO projects and voting cycles, to support $1 million in charitable commitments annually.

Stay tuned for more or visit your local Disney Friends for Change website to take your pledge.

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Planet Challenge
In 2010, Disney's Planet Challenge (DPC) expanded into more than 2,000 classrooms nationwide. Students and teachers in grades 3 through 8 are challenged and encouraged to take on project-based environmental learning to help the planet. DPC is based on an educationally-sound curriculum that meets national and state guideline requirements. A sixth-grade class from Mediapolis, Iowa took home the DPC grand prize in 2010 for their project to save the local quail population, a project in which they restored 18 acres of prairie habitat and raised community awareness about the effects of habitat destruction on the local quail population. For their efforts, the students were honored in a special ceremony at Disneyland Resort.

One of the many amazing DPC projects of 2010 included that of the sixth graders of Morningside Elementary in Salt Lake City, Utah. Students began an anti-idling campaign, turning the school grounds into an idle free zone, in an effort to improve local air quality. This anti-idling approach soon spread to local businesses, but the sixth graders did not stop there. They took the campaign all the way to the state legislature, where they submitted an anti-idling resolution, Clean Air Resolution HJR5, which was passed by both the state House and Senate. This academic year, sixth graders have picked up the torch once again and the school's anti-idling volunteer scripts and tutorial videos are now being used in schools across the state. Their signs have spread to airports and other high-idling zones.

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Disney Magic of Healthy Living
Disney Magic of Healthy Living has inspired kids to take action and share their ideas toward creating a healthier generation.

The 2010 Disney Magic of Healthy Living national essay contest asked kids to share their ideas to live a healthy life at home, at school and in their community. Nearly 2,000 kids shared their unique perspectives on ways to incorporate good nutrition and physical activity into their daily routines. For example, Anna, 8, shared her thoughts on starting a “healthy kids cooking club” to share healthy eating with her friends and their parents. Another entry from Andrew, 11, took a different approach by focusing on an activity Advent calendar where “...each door would reveal an activity for the day.”

A distinguished panel of judges evaluated the entries based on originality, leadership qualities, and subject matter. One of the judges, Associate Clinical Professor of Pediatrics at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine Keith Ayoob, shared his thoughts, "All of the applicants shared such creativity and excitement. What better way to create a healthier generation than to hear from the generation themselves." 

Fifty contest winners were selected to be guests of honor at the first Disney Magic of Healthy Living Weekend in March 2011 at Walt Disney World Resort.

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The ABC-owned television stations are widely recognized for their longstanding commitment to public service and outreach in their 10 local markets: New York; Los Angeles; Chicago; Philadelphia; San Francisco; Houston; Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina; Fresno, California; Flint, Michigan; and Toledo, Ohio.

Food and clothing drives have long been prominent among the many station initiatives. This was especially important in 2010 to address the increasing economic challenges facing local communities. For example, WTVD-TV in Raleigh-Durham collected a record-setting 4.2 million pounds of food to support local food banks in its Heart of Carolina Food Drive. WABC-TV in New York collaborated with Good Morning America and Disney to collect used and gently-worn coats for the annual Warm Coats, Warm Hearts Coat Drive. In Houston, KTRK-TV's Operation Backpack focused on much-needed school supplies for students across local districts.

The ABC-owned stations also raise funds for grassroots causes as well as national and international campaigns. For example, Fresno's KFSN-TV sponsored "Kid's Day," including on-air promotion, which helped inspire more than $400,000 in donations to Children's Hospital Central California. After a gas line explosion in the San Francisco suburb of San Bruno, KGO-TV helped to raise hundreds of thousands of dollars to assist local residents.

Local residents are often spotlighted as community role models. KABC-TV in Los Angeles each week honors a local high school student for outstanding community service, and also presents a monthly Jefferson Award for volunteerism. In Toledo, WTVG-TV honors local women who have demonstrated outstanding leadership qualities and who have opened doors for other women to achieve their potential.

The ABC-owned stations air thousands of public service announcements and special programming during the year on behalf of civic organizations and other nonprofit groups. WLS-TV in Chicago teams with the Chicago Fire Department for the "Operation Save-a-Life" public service campaign, and the station's news team and executives also visit schools and senior centers to promote fire safety and to distribute free smoke detectors. In Philadelphia, WPVI-TV works closely with the Philadelphia Urban Affairs Coalition to develop and broadcast public service announcements and other program segments about tax credits and free tax filing assistance for low-income families. WJRT-TV in Flint recently broadcast several award-winning stories following a local court's mission to unite broken families with children under the age of five. The stories are being shown by local judges and social agencies as a model for future collaborations.

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