Disney. The very word makes you think of magic. You also may think it only applies to children, but Disney has a long tradition of supporting our nation's armed forces and it has funneled that magic toward our veterans!
In March 2012 Disney launched the Heroes Work Here initiative with three goals in mind:
1) Provide career opportunities to 1,000 veterans by 2015
2) Launch a media campaign encouraging other employers to hire veterans
3) Invest in nonprofit organizations providing training and other support services to veterans and military families.
Disney has already exceeded its first goal and has welcomed more than 2,500 veterans to the Disney family! They are expanding this goal and passing freedom on by continuing to hire more veterans.
In order to share what they learned in the process, Disney recently hosted a Veterans Institute: Heroes Work Here conference that brought together representatives from hundreds of companies and industries from all over the United States, along with some experts from the Department of Defense, Department of Labor, Veterans Administration, U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the White House's Joining Forces program.
Many support organizations also attended, including nonprofits, as we all sought to listen, learn and network to share information that would assist veterans and their families as they seek employment. The opportunity to network allowed many of us to share the different ways we are honoring veterans in our communities. When we shared about Patriot Plaza and the Legacy of Valor campaign, most were interested in what our community is doing to honor, inspire and embrace.
I can’t remember attending a conference where the energy level was so high and positive all day long. Expert resource panels gave updates on programs like a program where all active-duty military are required to go through transition assistance before they get off active duty.
Our Keynote speaker was First Lady Michelle Obama! It does not get much better than that -- to have the full support of our government as we all work hard to help veterans and their families. The closing keynote was Bob Woodruff from ABC News that really left us on an inspirational note.
We came away with more information to share in our communities and ensure that the many organizations helping veterans and their families in Southwest Florida are getting all the support they need to help our heroes get to work. To get involved, visit FreedomPassItOn.org.
Learn about these and other concepts used in TPF's approach to philanthropy.
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