Posted in Cast Member Chronicles, Out and About in Orlando

She Earned Her Ears!

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My mom came down to visit me for her summer vacation (what’s this summer vacation you speak of, says the jealous cast member?)

The good thing about working for the Mouse is that they have an awesome VoluntEARs program that allows me to accumulate hours over the year and those hours get turned into grant money for a charitable organization of my choice.

The last few years, I gave my grants to the Down Syndrome Society of Rhode Island, an organization that has helped a good friend, a recent film major and graduate who happens to have Down Syndrome, complete his documentary Best Judgement  Ladd School Lessons. Best Judgement focuses on the changes in community inclusion for people with disabilities, a topic near and dear to my heart.

The beauty of VoluntEARs is that I can also recruit my family and friends who aren’t official cast members to assist in some projects, such as the one we did earlier this week at the Community Food and Outreach Center , assisting in cleaning up their thrift store and their Cost Share Grocery Program, which was a godsend for me when I was out of work after having major surgery a few years ago. I consider my time there a way to say thanks for helping me keep food on the table and offering me resources when I needed it most.

Looking at the big picture, it feels amazing to have the opprotunity to work on multiple projects in multiple states at once. It’s amazing how we as a company and me and mom as a family come together to make the world a better place.

We earned our ears so to speak. Feeding the hungry, donating to numerous charities as individuals, or in my case helping a good friend finish his documentary from a thousand miles away makes us all worthy of being a Dreamer and a Doer. Together, we make the world a better place. Even if it is just a few hours during summer vacation.

15 hours down so far this year, 15 more to go before I turn the big 3-0 in September. Can I make it?

Stay tuned.

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