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SatOct 23

Make a Difference Day – October 23, 2021

Make a Difference Day is celebrated annually on the fourth Saturday of October, on October 23 this year. If you have ever wondered if your actions can make a difference, the answer is yes. And if you have wondered where to start, the answer is Make a Difference Day. We come together to volunteer, raise funds, offer support, and learn about the most urgent needs of our society. You don’t have to join an N.G.O. or travel to another country — you can start by cleaning your own backyard (literally and figuratively) because volunteering is all about becoming the change you wish to see in the world.

History of Make a Difference Day

So many people think that their lone efforts will never make a difference. We are here to tell you they do. Make a Difference Day makes a case for the power of individual contribution to the greater good.

Make a Difference Day was created by “USA Weekend” magazine in 1992 to offer community support and encourage volunteerism across the country. Points of Light, a non-profit organization founded by former U.S. President George H. W. Bush, is the official co-sponsor of Make a Difference Day. Ever since its inception, Make a Difference Day has echoed in 30 countries and has inspired over 30 million volunteer hours.

For decades, “USA Weekend” served as the central location for interested volunteers to gather information about volunteering for Make a Difference Day. This service has now been taken over by “USA Today”.

From gathering stuffed toys for firefighters to organizing a nationwide relief effort in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, Make a Difference Day has offered instrumental humanitarian aid to the country.

Make a Difference Day timeline

1953
The Birth of “USA Weekend”

Gannett Company launches “USA Weekend”, a sister publication to “USA Today”.

1985
The Rise in Readership

“USA Weekend” experiences a readership bump with over 12.8 million printed editions.

1992
Make a Difference

“USA Weekend” announces the fourth Saturday of every October as Make a Difference Day.

2014
The Shutdown

Gannett Company announces the shutdown of “USA Weekend”, and “USA Today” takes over as the official sponsor of Make a Difference Day.

Make a Difference Day FAQs

How can I make a difference?

You can make a difference by volunteering at your local community center, raising funds for charity, advocating for a fairer society, and sharing a smile with a stranger.

What is skills-based volunteering?

Skills-based volunteering is using your abilities, networks, and specific talents to complete a task. It is a pro bono commitment for the contribution of your learned skills. 

Do we have to register ourselves with Make a Difference Day?

Points of Light, a leading co-sponsor of Make a Difference Day, gives grants to humanitarians every year. You can register yourself at www.makeadifferenceday.com for a chance to win a $10,000 grant for a project of your choice. 

How to Celebrate Make a Difference Day

  1. Be vocal for local

    A good rule of thumb for volunteering is to start from where you are. Places like local community centers, municipal offices, public hospitality, or old-age homes can always use an extra set of hands. This Make a Difference Day, don’t just donate your labor, raise awareness about the critical needs of your community as well.

  2. Organize a fundraiser

    Have a cause you are passionate about? Organize a fundraiser and encourage the people in your community to become your fellow patrons. Every penny counts, so make sure you invite as many people as you can.

  3. Run a social media campaign

    A week before the big day, plan a social media campaign and post updates under the hashtag #MakeaDifferenceDay. Running a campaign in advance can prepare the people in your life to take action on Make a Difference Day.

5 Facts About Volunteering That’ll Blow Your Mind

  1. It’s about the endorphins

    Multiple studies have concluded that a single act of volunteering can help people lead happier lives.

  2. College students love to volunteer

    The hottest demographic of volunteers falls in the 18-24-year-old college student category.

  3. Girls trump boys

    Historically, the female gender has been more active in volunteering projects than the males.

  4. Peer pressure works, so keep it up

    40% of all volunteers rise to the occasion after being convinced by a friend or loved one.

  5. It’s a cure for the lonely heart

    As per a survey, the majority of people confessed that they took up volunteering to be a part of a team.

Why We Love Make a Difference Day

  1. It recognizes global volunteering efforts

    Make a Difference Day is credited for inspiring the volunteering of 30 million working hours, which nets over $635 million in human productive value. On the fourth Saturday of October, you get a chance to add your labor to these numbers.

  2. It raises awareness

    To fight the monster of poverty and other forms of discrimination, we need as many hands on deck as possible. Make a Difference day raises awareness about the local and global charity and fundraising efforts that anyone can be a part of.

  3. It reminds us of our privilege

    Being in a position to help others is, indeed, a great privilege. Make a Difference Day strives to change the narrative that volunteering is an obligation, when it is actually an honor and a privilege.

Make a Difference Day dates

YearDateDay
2022October 22Saturday
2023October 28Saturday
2024October 26Saturday
2025October 25Saturday
2026October 24Saturday

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