Thank You Disney VoluntEARS!

Posted by on Jul 6, 2011 in Programs, Transitional Independent Living Services | 0 comments

On a recent Saturday in June a group of Disney VoluntEARS stopped by Hathaway-Sycamores with donated goods and ready to work. The VoluntEARS are employees of The Walt Disney Company (and its affiliate companies) that support a broad range of charitable and community efforts. Members of Disney VoluntEARS were introduced to Hathaway-Sycamores by John Vandemore, chief financial officer of Walt Disney Imagineering and a Hathaway-Sycamores’ board member. In a coast-to-coast video conference attended by Disney VoluntEARS ‘ members in Burbank and Anaheim, as well as in Orlando, Fla., Vandemore—along with Hathaway-Sycamores’ Executive Vice President of Development Rob Myers—provided an overview of the agency’s services, including TILP and the FSP-TAY program. 

The VoluntEARS learned that, through TILP, Hathaway-Sycamores provides housing and support services for youth—ages 18 to 21— who are transitioning from foster care to independent living. For those ages 16 to 26 who are struggling with mental-health challenges, Hathaway-Sycamores offers the FSP-TAY program. The FSP-TAY program is designed to reduce psychiatric hospitalizations, prevent homelessness, and to help program participants secure housing, education, and employment.
As part of the video conference, Disney VoluntEARS also heard from Shaquenta McDonald, who explained how Hathaway-Sycamores’ TILP changed her life. McDonald, now 20, was in the foster-care system from the age of 14, and a longtime victim of abuse. Click here to read McDonald’s story.

Following the video conference, Disney VoluntEARS launched a goods drive to benefit the young men and women served by Hathaway-Sycamores’ TILP and its FSP-TAY program. Over the course of a month, the organization gathered an impressive inventory of items—including linens, tableware, toiletries, computer equipment, clothes, and furniture—to help stock these young people’s apartments. Members of Disney VoluntEARS delivered the donated goods to the Pasadena office where the TILP and FSP-TAY program are housed and then spent the better part of the day sprucing up the office’s outdoor areas—painting benches, tables, and basketball backboards—as well as planting flowers.

Members of Disney VoluntEARS were then joined by many of the young people served by Hathaway-Sycamores’ TILP and its FSP-TAY program. All were treated to a barbeque lunch and an afternoon of outdoor games. Vandemore concluded the day’s festivities by thanking Disney VoluntEARS and praising the young people on hand. “I’ve been told repeatedly how fantastic you guys are doing in these programs,” he said. “There are hundreds of people at Disney who are so happy to see you succeed and who take pride in your achievements.”Click here to see more pictures on our facebook page.

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