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JoAnna Lou
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Give A Day, Get A Day
Help animals and get a free ticket to Disney
Disney aims to inspire one million volunteers in 2010.

For 2010, Disney is launching a program that celebrates the spirit of volunteerism by giving free theme park tickets to those who give a day of service in the United States or Canada. 

The goal is to inspire one million people to volunteer in their communities this year. Even better, there are lots of opportunities for dog lovers, including many pet therapy and rescue organizations. 

Disney’s program is a great way to encourage families to volunteer together, while benefiting so many deserving groups. Hopefully many of these partnerships will grow into longer term volunteer commitments. 

To participate, you must sign up through the Disney website and search for a participating organizations. 

When searching, you can specify the Animals & Environment category, although I found that there are some animal-related organizations that don’t come up with that tag. So if you don’t find the organization you’re looking for, search all categories in your area. 

The two opportunities that I’m looking at are Paw Pal Volunteers, a pet therapy group that visits the VITAS Innovative Hospice Care of Waterbury in Middlebury, Conn., and Green Chimneys, an organization that provides education and animal-assisted therapy to children with emotional, behavioral and learning challenges in Brewster, N.Y.

My family was already planning a trip to Orlando, Fla., this spring, so the Give a Day program will be a great way to help an organization in need while saving money on our vacation.

If you’re not planning on visiting Florida or California any time soon, you can donate your ticket to the Boys & Girls Clubs of Southern California and Central Florida or Dreams Take Flight Canada.

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JoAnna Lou is a New York City-based researcher, writer and agility enthusiast.

Photo by David Roark for Disney.

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