Make a Difference Day

Make A Difference Day, also occasionally known as National Make A Difference Day, is an unofficial holiday or observance that emphasizes volunteerism and community service. This holiday is observed on the fourth Saturday of October, and it encourages everyone to become active in their community and perform charitable works.

This holiday has been observed since the early 1990s and continues to be celebrated each year. Millions of people across the U.S. volunteer and carry out various charitable projects for their communities, for those in need, and for charitable organizations.

The History of Make A Difference Day

This holiday was founded in 1992 when USA Weekend, the second-largest national newspaper at the time, suggested to its readers that they should do something good for their community or for those in need.

They reasoned that since 1992 was a leap year, and therefore the year had an extra day, people should put it to good use for someone else. The idea quickly spread, and people began to observe it.

The holiday received its biggest push when Points of Light—an international nonprofit, nonpartisan organization—decided to promote it as well. Since then, it has been a holiday that helps people make a difference in their communities and the lives of others.

Facts About Charity & Giving

Below are some facts about charity and the act of giving that we think everyone observing this holiday will want to consider:

  • December is usually the biggest month for charity.
  • People can give money after their death by setting up a charity as a beneficiary on their life insurance policy.
  • People who regularly give money to charity are happier than those who don’t.
  • Between 2000 and 2012, giving around the world grew by over 225%.
  • Studies have shown that the less a person makes, the more likely they are to give. Low- and middle-income individuals are more likely to give to charity than high-income individuals.

Customs & Traditions of Make A Difference Day

People who observe this day take it upon themselves to perform some form of service for either their communities or for those in need. Activities performed on this day include painting the computer room of a local school, cleaning out animal cages at a zoo, building community playgrounds, or cleaning parks.

Many volunteers also gather to raise funds for a variety of different charities. For example, in Palm Springs, runners often come together to run the Palm Springs Aerial Tram Road Challenge to raise money for various charitable organizations.

This holiday is the perfect opportunity for people to give back to the communities in which they live, work, and/or play. Anyone can participate in this day by identifying an area of need within their community and then finding a way to address it. This allows individuals to not only give back, which always makes a person feel better, but also helps to improve the communities for the people living in them.

When is it?
This year (2024)
October 26 Saturday
Next year (2025)
October 25 Saturday
Last year (2023)
October 28 Saturday
Activity & Action