Disney is extremely popular among kids and adults alike who enjoy its many inspirational movies, its theme parks, its merchandise, and its community involvement. This latter category has received much coverage over the last few years on the Disney Channel and it continues to inspire kids around the world to initiate positive change. It is Disney Friends for Change, a Disney program that encourages kids to make a difference.
What is Friends for Change?:
Disney Friends for Change is a pro- environmental, pro- social initiative that started in 2009 and continues to this day. It encourages children to get involved in their community by taking part in all sorts of different projects ranging from planting trees to improving education to serving the needy. Disney utilizes its popular young stars from its television programs as a means to connect with its young fans. Stars like Selena Gomez, the Jonas Brothers, Laura Marano, Ross Lynch, Debby Ryan, and others have lent their time to the cause, appearing in Disney channel advertisements and encouraging kids to speak up and make a change.
What are Some of the Initiatives?:
Disney Friends for Change is involved in several different programs, all with one common goal in mind: Convincing young people to get involved and make a difference. Some of the initiatives include:
Youth Empowerment- Friends for Change sponsors events and encourages kids to speak out for what is right, develop leadership skills, and more.
Helping the Planet- Disney Friends for Change wants to keep the planet looking its best and thriving under increased pressure from swelling populations. These “helping the planet” initiatives include planting trees, cleaning up beaches, conserving water, etc.
Ambassador Volunteers- Disney Friends for Change is helping to make a difference in other countries and at home with its volunteer programs. Kids are encouraged to help build/improve educational experiences, serve as mentors and tutors, and otherwise get involved in ways that will help make the world a better place.
Who Can Get Involved?:
Anyone can get involved with Disney Friends for Change. It is only a matter of time and will. The Friends for Change web site has many ideas and even includes a downloadable action kit to help kids brainstorm and get started down the path toward making a difference.
Disney Friends for Change is a positive initiative plan that is all about encouraging kids to make a difference. Everyone can contribute in some small way and Friends for Change is out to show children that anyone can make a positive difference in the lives of others. All it takes is the desire to make a difference, some organizing, and some hard but rewarding work.
This initiative is a little different from others in a few important ways. The most obvious difference is the organization. Friends for Change is not a centrally- organized, Disney- driven event that draws on kids to sign up, show up, and start working. Rather, it is a program that encourages kids to take initiative and start their own projects. Perhaps you live near the coast and notice that the beaches need cleaned up. Maybe your school is in a tough neighborhood and bullying is a problem. Or maybe your area is lacking in trees and could use a greening effort. Whatever is needed, Disney Friends for Change encourages kids to get involved and start their own project. Disney will supply the steps to take and guidelines to follow. It is up to the children, with appropriate adult guidance, to do the rest.
Getting kids involved in making the world a better place is an excellent idea for many reasons. Volunteering is great in any form, but it takes on a whole new meaning when the children actually select their own project, gather friends to support the cause, hold meetings, and successfully complete the project. It teaches kids to work together, organize, and develop leadership skills. It helps kids to discover how much of a difference they can make when they put their minds together. It helps kids gain satisfaction from a job well done and a cause well executed. Disney Friends for Change encompasses all of these ideas, empowering kids in ways they never thought possible.
If you have young children who would like to get involved in their school or community in a positive way, have them check out Disney Friends for Change. Don’t wait for a volunteer project to come your way- utilize the ideas presented by Disney Friends for Change and start your own project right now. The rewards are numerous and the life skills are invaluable, providing kids with early exposure to some of the tools they will need for future success.
Copyright 2012, Bryan Carey