Blood donors hoping for a free day at Walt Disney World will need to volunteer elsewhere.
The resort's "Give a Day, Get a Disney Day" promotion, which launched Jan. 1, was immediately slammed with requests to donate at Tampa Bay area Florida Blood Services centers. An estimated 4,000 appointment slots were snagged, blood center spokesman Dan Eberts said today.
The Disney promotion offers a single-day park voucher, valued at $79, in exchange for volunteering for pre-approved charities and nonprofit groups across the country. Up to 1 million vouchers will be issued on a first-come, first-served basis.
Eberts said there has been confusion and frustration surrounding the promotion, which is coordinated through Disney and the national Hands-On Network. That includes some who mistakenly think they have completed the sign-up process.
For example, Eberts said, some people signed up through the Disney site, www.disneyparks.com, but have not followed up and called a local blood center for a specific appointment time. Vouchers will not be approved until after the actual blood donation takes place.
"We also have people not showing up for their appointments on the day and time they scheduled, as well as others showing up at a different center than they made the appointment," he said.
It's not clear how many people have signed up to participate in the national promotion aimed at increasing volunteerism. A Disney spokesperson could not be reached today.
Thousands of nonprofit groups, including many in the Tampa Bay area, are participating in the program. Eberts said Florida Blood Services is encouraging local residents to take part in another volunteer opportunity.
For details about the Florida Blood Services aspect of the promotion, call (800) 68-BLOOD.