1992 was a leap year wherein the leap day fell on a Saturday, giving the publication USA Weekend a mission to challenge others to spend their extra time participating in community service. Since then, on every fourth Saturday of October, Make A Difference Day has been an immensely successful annual event where millions have lent their time and effort in volunteering and helping others. It is the largest day of community service in the nation.
Without community service, the world would be in a very dire, disastrous place. Volunteerism is a vital component of our society and of community service. Volunteering saves lives through suicide prevention and mental health hotlines, keeps shelters safe for people and pets, helps children in their critical formative years through mentorship and coaching, aides in keeping public spaces clean and safe. 71% of United States fire houses are staffed by volunteer firemen and without them, thousands would perish. 97% of the Red Cross is staffed by volunteers and without their help, millions would die across the globe without their crucial measles, HIV/AIDS, and Malaria prevention.
The economic impact of 62.8 million Americans lending their time in 2010 is valued at 173 billion dollars. 173 billion dollars worth of services that would not have been given otherwise to those who needed it the most. Most importantly, by volunteering you are also creating a sense of self-worth and empowerment for yourself by using your time to make an impact.
Community service also fosters bonds between like minded people, culminating in meaningful friendships and connections. Volunteerism teaches people the importance of work ethic, gaining industry experience, and makes for an excellent enhancement to any resume. Whatever your hobbies or interests, there is a volunteer activity that embraces it.
There are millions of volunteer opportunities around the world. You are bound to find one that will change your life and the lives of others for the better. You can start right here by becoming a volunteer with us! Make A Difference today!
BY KRIS S.
Contributing from New York, NY