A Passion for Volunteerism

Scripps Networks Partners With Disney to Reward 5 'Amazing' Efforts

By Published on .

Jerilyn Bliss
Jerilyn Bliss
There are people in every community who give their time unconditionally to causes about which they are passionate. Because they are so devoted and focused on their work, the last thing they expect is recognition. At Scripps Networks, we want to recognize and reward these people.

Working within our Fine Living Network's "Surprise Vacations" series, we partnered with Walt Disney World to recognize the volunteer spirit of a special group of people from around the country whose work epitomizes the idea of shared responsibility, a core value at Scripps Networks. People such as Shirley Holley from Denver.

Holley began experiencing health problems in 1984, and was diagnosed 18 months later with sarcoidosis, a disease that causes unexplained swelling of tissues in various parts of the body. Holley's disease went untreated properly for 13 years until she found help at the National Jewish Medical and Research Center. Just two years later in 2000, Holley's oldest son was diagnosed with neurosarcoidosis, and she has other family members who also suffer from the disease. Holley says that meeting and listening to other sarcoidosis patients changed her life and inspired her to found the Denver Sarcoidosis Awareness Support Group in 2005. She works tirelessly with the organization and mentors others interested in starting their own support groups.

Holley is one of five amazing volunteers who received a special vacation to Walt Disney World in cooperation with Fine Living Network and Walt Disney World's "Give a Day, Get a Disney Day" program that rewards volunteers with a free pass to the parks.

Fine Living Network will showcase the program and the efforts of these exceptional people in a special episode of "Surprise Vacations: Disney Parks Edition" on March 6 at 10 p.m. (ET). Viewers will also learn about the work of organizations such as Share Our Strength, Rebuilding Together, Schools on Wheels and Sarcoidosis Awareness through the other four volunteers and the groups they work with, featured in this episode.

Scripps Networks' support of the concept of shared responsibility extends throughout the company. In addition to Fine Living Network's relationship with Walt Disney World's volunteer recognition program, Scripps Networks units maintain close ties with numerous national and local charitable organizations that help change lives every day. HGTV works with Rebuilding Together to support community revitalization effort Change the World. Start at Home. Food Network partners with Share Our Strength, a nationwide campaign that works to ensure no child grows up hungry; and DIY Network partners with Habitat for Humanity to build homes for those in need. Great American Country sponsors Nashville's W.O. Smith Community Music School, which provides music education for kids from inner-city neighborhoods.

We reward passionate volunteers because Scripps Networks is all about passion—whether it's the ardor our viewers feel for food or for their homes. Through efforts such as "Surprise Vacations; Disney Parks Edition," we get to share our passion for volunteering with deserving people.

Jerilyn Bliss is VP-communications for Scripps Networks, Knoxville, Tenn.
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