Promoting Community Involvement On Make a Difference Day

Make A Difference Day is a national day of community service On Make A Difference Day, typically held in October, millions of Americans volunteer to support causes and help people in need. This USA Today initiative has been celebrated for over 20 years and has positively impacted countless lives. Use these suggestions to get involved and promote volunteering across all ages.

make a difference day

Plan to Participate

Often people want to help, but aren’t sure how or feel awkward volunteering alone. To facilitate volunteering, get the word out about specific events in your community and turn them into group efforts.

  • Find local opportunities through searches on and
  • Inquire at local volunteer organizations, outreach centers, or schools.
  • Come up with your own idea! (Download helpful planning tools at Separate participants into teams and hold a brainstorming session to determine what volunteering endeavor you’ll take on. Hand out participation gifts, such as I Make A Difference bracelets or Making A Difference In The Lives Of Others lapel pins. Award prizes such as Thanks For Making A Difference travel mugs or tote bags to the team with the chosen idea.
make a difference day

Motivate Volunteers

Provide encouragement to get participants excited about the event. This will help make the volunteering experience an especially positive one.

  • During the week leading up to the event, surprise participants with small, inspirational gifts that celebrate making a difference and volunteering, such as One Person Can Make A Difference lanyards, drinkware, and pens.
  • Send daily reminders and motivational messages via email, texts, tweets, and posts.
  • Provide personalized t-shirts with your organization’s name for everyone to wear at the event.
  • Help participants enjoy the day with volunteer survival kits and refreshments.
  • Post pictures and short videos of the event on your website, Facebook page, or
make a difference day

Kids Making a Difference

Children and teens can make a big impact in their community and the world. Help them realize their potential.

  • Empower kids by letting them choose volunteer opportunities and take leading roles in organizing an event. (Download a “Youth Toolkit” at to get started.)
  • Inspire them by reading age-appropriate books and articles about young people who have made a difference. Pass out One Person Can Make A Difference bookmarks.
  • Provide tech-savvy youth with inspirational planning tools, such as styluses, portable power banks, or charging cables.
make a difference day

A Little Thanks Goes a Long Way

One of the most important things you can do for volunteers is show recognition for their efforts. While volunteers usually find that giving is its own reward, a clear message of thanks is affirming and helps promote continued volunteerism.

  • Send out a volunteer greeting card of thanks to each participant.
  • Host a simple thank-you party. Use volunteer event postcards for invitations.
  • Decorate with colorful volunteer balloons or a celebration pack.
  • Remind volunteers how their service contributes to positive growth within your community by giving out volunteer seed packets or mini watering cans as party favors.

Join in the power of Make A Difference Day by helping others answer the call to serve, and by then recognizing their participation. Whether it’s cleaning up parks, volunteering in a soup kitchen, or organizing a fundraising car wash, every effort makes the world a brighter, kinder place.