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CBS Evening News anchor Scott Pelley lends a hand to encourage volunteerism.
CBS Evening News anchor Scott Pelley lends a hand to encourage volunteerism. / JOHN PAUL FILO / CBS

Make A Difference Day 2013

Oct. 26, 2013, is the 23rd annual Make A Difference Day, the nationís largest day of community service.

On Make A Difference Day 2013, millions of volunteers will unite to improve the lives of others in their communities.

Find out how you can join at makeadifferenceday.com.

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The USA is the most generous community on Earth. Altogether, we gave $298 billion in 2011, according to The Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University. Add to that, the countless billions of hours of volunteerism we devote to our schools, places of worship, soup kitchens and events including Make a Difference Day.

Why are we so generous? We have discovered, as individuals, that the surest way to happiness is to be part of something bigger than ourselves. To reach out and touch another person with compassion and respect is a moment of humility that releases your spirit to soar.

The happiest people I have met are those in service to others. They range from young Americans working with the International Rescue Committee saving lives of refugees stumbling out of the barren desert of Somalia to the generous folks of Seminole County, Fla., donating food and clothes to homeless families who need a hand to get back up from the Great Recession.

Have a look at the new Make a Difference Day logo, above. Those are hands that can grab a broom, grip a hammer, comfort a child, lift a heart.

If you are willing to experience the gift of humility but donít know what to do, look at the Make a Difference Day website under the heading ďGet Started.Ē No surprise the USA has thought of a lot of creative ways to help.

Join us. Nothing will lighten your heart like lifting the heart of another.

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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.