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United Way Blog

Join In: Make a Difference Day

It’s that time of year! Since 1992, volunteers and communities from across the U.S. have come together on the 4th Saturday of October to improve lives on Make A Difference Day. Many United Ways take part each year by mobilizing volunteers to make a difference in their community.

On the morning of October 28th, Marshfield Area United Way (WI) is again sponsoring a leaf raking event and celebrating its 15th year of participating in Make A Difference Day. Volunteers of all ages rake leaves for elderly and disabled residents, giving them peace of mind about maintaining the safety of their homes. United Way of Marathon County leads a similar leaf-raking event, and this year will also collect food items, toiletries, and coats for kids, to be sorted and donated to area nonprofits serving families in need.

Last year about 640 volunteers with United Way of Northwest Georgia worked on 16 projects valued at more than $58,000. This year, volunteers will again construct and maintain a mountain bike park, and do other outdoor projects like creating a sitting garden at Westside Elementary School. Indoors, United Way Women’s Leadership Council is coordinating volunteers to fill laundry baskets with household items for low-income families moving in to a new home. Brown Industries and Phenix Flooring donated $10,000 to support projects like these in the Dalton, GA area.

Make A Difference Day is celebrated for a full week of October in Larimer County. For the last 18 years, United Way of Larimer County has organized the largest volunteer service event in Northern Colorado. Last year, 1,300 volunteers worked on a wide range of projects, investing about $120,000 of volunteer time in the community.

Make A Difference Day was created by USA Weekend Magazine and is now sponsored by TEGNA, with support from Arby’s Foundation and Points of Light. Each year, $140,000 in grants are awarded to fourteen honorees chosen by a distinguished panel of judges. Award winners designate the grant money to a charity of their choice.

Can’t come out on October 28th? Your local United Way can help you find another way to take action. We’re here 365 days a year and invite you to Give, Advocate and Volunteer to help us fight for the health, education and financial stability of every person in every community.