Voluntears (styled VoluntEARS) is a charitable organization made up of Disney cast members who donate their time to helping charities and service organizations in their communities around the world. It is part of the Disney Worldwide Outreach Program.
The program has already reached and served over 200 cities, 47 states, and 24 countries, spread out over six different continents. By tailoring volunteer opportunities to the volunteer's certain skills, volunteers are each assigned to specific volunteer work which is aligned to their skills and interests. Voluntears' projects mainly focus on helping families and children. Their secondary focus is to create projects which are aimed at the support of education, health, preserving the environment, arts, social service initiatives and military outreach.
In 1983 at Disneyland, because cast members wanted to give something back to the local Orange County, California area, Disney formed the "Disneyland Community Action Team" (DCAT). DCAT became involved with the Special Olympics, the Orangewood Children's Home, and other local charities. The corporate-wide VoluntEARS program was created from this initiative in 1992. Disneyland Paris's volunteer club, originally called "Club Bénévole", had the same intentions. In 2005, these shared intentions of different volunteer groups around the world was recognized and they decided to simultaneously adopt the name "VoluntEARS" for the organization.
In 2002, Disney established "Ears to You," a program that makes donations to charities based on an employee's VoluntEARS participation in that charity. EARS to You was created for the volunteers after their 8,446 hours of volunteer work in 2012 as a mark of appreciation on the behalf of the Walt Disney Company. This programme allowed volunteers to access opportunities online and be matched with the right one depending on their individual preferences and skill sets.