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Make A Difference Day: Getting started

Sep. 6, 2012 8:38 PM
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MAKE A DIFFERENCE DAY BROCHURE: Everything you need to get started in one easy download.

MARKETING GUIDE: Great ideas for getting your project noticed.

YOUTH TOOL KIT: A complete project planner for kids!

MAKE A DIFFERENCE DAY STORE: T-Shirts, balloons, pins and more! You can use this order form if you prefer.


What is Make A Difference Day?

Make A Difference Day is the most encompassing national day of helping others -- a celebration of neighbors helping neighbors. Everyone can participate. Created by USA WEEKEND Magazine, Make A Difference Day is an annual event that takes place on the fourth Saturday of every October.

Millions have participated. In 2009, 3 million people cared enough about their communities to volunteer on that day, accomplishing thousands of projects in hundreds of towns. Your project can be as large or as small as you wish! Look around your community and see what needs to be done. Or use the ideas on this site for inspiration.

Who takes part in Make A Difference Day?

Anyone. Young and old, individuals and groups, anyone can carry out a volunteer project that helps others. It might be as ambitious as collecting truckloads of clothing for the homeless, or as personal as spending an afternoon helping an elderly neighbor or relative. USA WEEKEND features volunteers and their projects in articles and photos.

How do I get started?

Look around your community. Are people hungry, homeless or ill? Are parks or schools dirty or neglected? No matter where you live, there's a need nearby. And on Make A Difference Day, millions of Americans are expected to roll up their sleeves to help others. You can act alone or enlist your friends, family and co-workers. Thousands of people across the community can band together.

The links to the right will give you the resources you need to make the most of your efforts.

You can also call the Make A Difference Day Hot Line, 1-800-416-3824, for information.

What do I do after I've selected a project?

Tell others what you're doing and enlist help.
Several weeks before the day, register your plans in the Make A Difference DaytaBank, a national listing of local projects that will be viewed by interested volunteers, other people looking for good project ideas and news media looking for good stories to tell. It will only take a few minutes to register your plans in the DaytaBank hosted by HandsOn Network.

Do it!
Carry out your plans to help others on Make A Difference Day, the fourth Saturday in October. Be sure to take lots of pictures and share them on the Make A Difference Day photo album.


How do I enter my project for an award?

Judges will select 10 projects for the national Make A Difference Day Awards. To be considered, fill out the official entry form AFTER you do your Make A Difference Day project. Be sure to submit your entry before the deadline.

The awards include $10,000 donations to 10 projects from Newman's Own. Previous honorees who continue to excel will receive donations from the Gannett Foundation. Awards are announced annually in a special issue of USA WEEKEND published during Volunteer Week the April following Make A Difference Day.

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.