Skip to Content

Make A Difference Day - Not Just Once a Year

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn
  • Pinterest
  • Email

Saturday, October 22 is the annual "Make a Difference Day." On this day, people across the country take time out of their busy schedule to make a difference in the world by volunteering in their local community. This annual holiday is a great opportunity to give back and highlights the need to volunteer and support your local community at the same time.

How Did It Start?

Make a Difference Day is sponsored by USA WEEKEND Magazine in partnership with the country's largest volunteer service organization, Points of Light. This day of giving started back in 1992, on Leap Day, a day when the organizers promoted spending your "extra" day that year doing something good for someone else. That first Make a Difference Day had such a huge response that it has been growing in popularity year after year.

According to USA Today, the event has grown tremendously since its start in the 90s. Today, Gannett, the parent company of USA WEEKEND Magazine, is helping the day move forward by donating hundreds of thousands of dollars in grant funding from its Gannett Foundation. Several affiliates of Points of Light work with the organization to coordinate projects and bring people together for a common cause. In fact many of the projects earn awards, which are then highlighted at an awards luncheon in our nation's capital. If you're looking for a local project to take part in, consider checking the Make a Difference Day project list on

While the work that gets done on Make a Difference Day is certainly important, and it's wonderful to see companies and communities coming together to support these efforts, the emphasis on paying it forward brings the real benefit.

Make A Difference – Every Day

Make a Difference Day is a great chance to get involved with volunteering opportunities on a grand scale, but that's just one day out of 365 a year. Why not find ways to pay it forward every day? Either by volunteering or simply performing random acts of kindness, you can make a difference every single day.

How can you find ways to give back? First, find ways to be kind. Kindness is contagious, and when you share kindness with others, you'll find them passing it on. Next, find ways to compliment people. Remember, compliments don't have to be about people's looks, though those can be effective, but you can also compliment people on their intelligence, actions, skills and personalities. Write a note or verbally compliment someone, and watch as the kindness is returned.

Also, consider looking for ways to do something nice and unexpected, particularly to someone you aren't close to. After all, it's easy to help out a friend, but helping out a stranger with no expectations of something in return is truly a beautiful thing. If the individual asks to be able to thank you in some way, ask them to "return the favor" by helping someone else in the future. In other words, ask them to pay it forward.

Be on the lookout for places where help is needed. It may be an elderly neighbor that could use help with yard work, but won't ask. It could be children trying to cross a busy street on their way to school, but don't have a crossing guard. If you start being attentive to the needs around you, volunteering opportunities will become abundant.

University of the Cumberlands believes in making a difference, both on October 22, and all throughout the year. Take some time to find a volunteer opportunity near you, or just look for a way to make a difference in your day-to-day activities. As Aesop said, “no act of kindness no matter how small is ever wasted.” If we all plant a seed of kindness, the world will grow to be a much more pleasant place to live, work and pursue your education.

"The Rank 1 program at UC provides a broad array of avenues for enhancing our roles as educators."

Read More >
– Elizabeth Stack

"I enjoyed the quality of the materials and the instructors. The knowledge I gained will help me in my business."

Read More >
– Eric Greer
Founder & President

"The MBA program has given me an opportunity to further my education while working a full-time job."

Read More >
– Desrick Jones
Assistant Manager
Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.

"UC has multiple attributes that I find attractive. Its affordability, high moral standards and sense of ..."

Read More >
– April Templeton
MBA graduate

"UC provided me with the tools and professional network of individuals to lead our school district in South Carolina."

Read More >
– David O’Shields
Laurens County School District

"Enrolling in the University of the Cumberlands’ MBA program was a rewarding and valuable investment ..."

Read More >
– Brooklyn Hooker
Kentucky Highlands Investment Corporation

"The MAED program was a very comprehensive and robust experience that definitely added value to ..."

Read More >
– Nathan Smith
Elementary School Teacher

"The MBA program fit my busy lifestyle. I was able to attend MBA classes and do the assigned work all ..."

Read More >
– Pam Jones
Baptist Regional Medical Center

"I enjoyed the convenience and flexibility of the schedule especially with four children. The small ..."

Read More >
– Mark Steely
Coordinator of Radiology and Radiation Safety Officer
Baptist Regional Medical Center

"The [MBA] program allowed me to make great contacts and network with other professionals."

Read More >
– Amanda Farris
Southeastern Kentucky Rehabilitation Industries

"The online program at UC has allowed me to further my education while maintaining my personal commitments."

Read More >
– Carl Roberts
MAT Program

"I was attracted to UC because of its location in the beautiful foothills of the Appalachian Mountains ..."

Read More >
– Suzanne Benninger
PA Program Student

"The learning environment and the facilities at UC PA are the best around and it makes learning so much ..."

Read More >
– Kevin Caddell
PA Program Student

"Being part of the new era of technology allows UC to be a great learning institution as well as versatile."

Read More >
– Lesley Tipton
PA Program Student

"I believe that UC is making great strides toward becoming one of the best online programs."

Read More >
– Benjamin Clayton
MACS Program

"UC does an excellent job of bringing students from the virtual world together in a cohesive class unit."

Read More >
– Jennifer Kincaid
Assistant Principal
MAED Program Student