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USA WEEKEND’s 22nd Make A Difference Day made its mark as millions came together in the nation’s largest day of service.

An estimated 3 million volunteers helped their communities in every way imaginable, from bowl-a-thons to beach cleanups. A sampling of the heartfelt actions on Saturday, Oct. 27:

In Denver, a moving van parked at a Sam’s Club was stuffed with food for military families, thanks to a group called Homefront Heroes.

In McKinney, Texas, volunteers threw a fall carnival for children with special needs.

In Reno, Nev., Olympic mountain biker Katerina Nash helped out at a free youth cycling clinic.

In South Barrington, Ill., Hoffman Estates Animal Hospital collected hundreds of pounds of food for a pet rescue for older animals.

At Minnesota’s Mall of America, stars from Radio Disney’s Next Big Thing rallied against bullying. And they joined stars Usher and Kevin Bacon in a Twitter event urging volunteering.

USA WEEKEND’s Make A Difference Day is held in partnership with Points of Light on the fourth Saturday of each October. Longtime supporter Newman’s Own provides $130,000 in charitable awards.

NBC News, the event’s 2012 media partner, encouraged volunteers with messages during the Today show and Nightly News.

Actor/philanthropist Kevin Bacon and his charity, SixDegrees.org, enabled people to make charitable donations online.

What’s next?

Selected volunteers will be honored in April. For more information, visit makeadifferenceday.com.

More In Make A Difference Day

Make A Difference Day, the largest national day of helping others, is sponsored annually by USA WEEKEND Magazine and its 800 carrier newspapers. Make A Difference Day takes place on the 4th Saturday in October each year.