November 2, 2019

Special Days/Week Related to Volunteerism


National Mentoring Month: Created in 2002 by the Harvard School of Public Health and MENTOR: The National Mentoring Partnership, National Mentoring Month held every January focuses national attention on the need for mentors, as well as how each of us—individuals, businesses, government agencies, schools, faith communities and nonprofits—can work together to increase the number of mentors to assure positive outcomes for our young people.

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day – 3rd Monday in January: With “Make it a day ON… Not a day off!” as its slogan, this commemoration is designed to keep Dr. King’s legacy of service to others alive in communities across the United States.  The day of service is scheduled on his nationally-recognized birthday holiday.


Random Acts of Kindness Week: RAK Week® is dedicated to celebrating the little things we do for others.


AmeriCorps Week: AmeriCorps Week is a recruitment and recognition event designed to bring more people into service, salute AmeriCorps members and alums for their powerful impact, and thank the community partners who make AmeriCorps possible


Global Youth Service Day: Occurs each year (usually immediately preceding National Volunteer Week) and celebrates the positive contributions that millions of young people are making in their communities.

Good Deeds Day: Good Deeds Day is an annual celebration of good deeds, asking people around the world to volunteer and help others, putting into practice the simple idea that every single person can do something good, be it large or small, to improve the lives of others and positively change the world. The site offers ideas for volunteer projects, toolkits, and a photo gallery. Began in Israel.

National Volunteer Week in the USA (usually the 3rd week in April):National Volunteer Week, always held in the third week of April unless the spring religious holidays coincide, has been celebrated annually since the 1970s, is sponsored by the Points of Light Institute. (link is external)Future dates: April 19-25, 2020


Join Hands Day – first Saturday in May: In the U.S., a nationwide volunteer day (sponsored by America’s Fraternal Benefit Societies) to bring young people together with adults to create new and better relationships by working as a team within their own neighborhoods. 

Senior Corps Week: Conceived during John F. Kennedy’s presidency, Senior Corps currently links more than 360,000 Americans to service opportunities. Their contributions of skills, knowledge, and experience make a real difference to individuals, nonprofits, and faith-based and other community organizations throughout the United States.


United Way Day of Action: Each year on June 21 — the Summer Solstice (longest day of the year) — “communities around the world come together to harness the volunteer spirit and improve the conditions in which they live.” Special emphasis on a “Summer of Success” for young people.


Mandela Day – July 18: An annual celebration of Nelson Mandela’s life (started in 2009) and a global call to action for people to recognize their individual power to “make an imprint” and change the world around them — by giving 67 minutes of volunteer service.



National Day of Service and Remembrance – September 11: In the U.S., September 11th has now been officially designated as the National Day of Service and Remembrance under the 2009 Serve America Act and the Corporation for National and Community Service coordinates it.  In addition, 9/11 Day (, “Tomorrow Together,” also offers resources. 

National Voter Registration Day: Founded in 2012, National Voter Registration Day is a nonpartisan day of civic action endorsed by the National Association of Secretaries of State, National Association of State Election Directors, and National Association of Election Officials. Every year, scores of major national digital partners, media companies, national nonprofits, and civic organizations join with thousands of community organizations, libraries, colleges, businesses, and others – including over 20,000 volunteers and staff – to raise awareness of voter registration opportunities and register as many eligible voters as possible ahead of the various state registration deadlines. Over 2.4 million voters have been registered as part of the holiday since its founding in 2012.


Sewa Day: An international day of volunteering (originating in the UK) “where thousands of good-hearted people across the world come together to experience the joy of giving (the Indian concept of Sewa) in its truest sense.”

Be the Change Day – October 4: An annual service day originally sponsored by South Asian Americans Leading Together (SAALT) — formerly called “National Ghandi Day of Service.” As of 2016, SALT is no longer coordinating the day in favor of allowing individual communities to take over, but the Web site still offers a  Be the Change Planning Guide(link is external)

Make A Difference Day – 4th Saturday of October: Started in 1992 by USA Weekend magazine, this annual day of service is now run by TEGNA, Arby’s Foundation, and Points of Light.  The Web site lets people seek single-day volunteer opportunities or register their own projects, plus gives participants resource information and logos.

National Pro Bono Week – last week of October: The Taproot Foundation and the American Business Association have started this week to celebrate “he pro bono ethic in all industries, where professionals are using their skills to help make a difference in their communities.”


International Volunteer Managers Day – 5 November: Take time out to celebrate and acknowledge the work of volunteer managers – a global profession which facilitates and supports the work of millions of people – directly making our communities, countries and our world a better place in which to live. 

World Kindness Day: “No matter where you are, this is the day to change the world with one simple act of kindness.”

National Family Volunteer Day: “A day of service that demonstrates and celebrates the power of families who volunteer together, supporting their neighborhoods, communities and the world.” Created by Points of Light in 1991, Family Volunteer Day is held annually the Saturday before Thanksgiving to ‘kick off’ the holiday season with giving and service, and to signal the start of National Family Week.” 

National Philanthropy Day – November 15: National Philanthropy Day (November 15) is an observance designated by the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP). It is a day to celebrate charitable activities, in the form of donated financial, in-kind and volunteering support. It is celebrated with blog postings by AFP highlighting outstanding charitable activities, as well as luncheons and awards throughout the USA by different AFP chapters. The Association has been celebrating National Philanthropy Day since 1986, when then USA President Ronald Reagan signed a proclamation recognizing November 15 as National Philanthropy Day in the USA. In 2013, the Canadian government signed into law a proclamation celebrating November 15 as National Philanthropy Day annually. The official National Philanthropy Day song, “Now More Than Ever,” was written by Marvin Hamlisch.


International Volunteer Day – 5 December: In 1985 the General Assembly of the United Nations designated December 5th for an annual celebration by communities, peoples and governments of all that is achieved by voluntary effort – by volunteers – around the world. International Day is already marked in more than half the countries of the globe. We think this would be a wonderful day to have a special volunteer recognition activity in recognition of work done by volunteers all over the world.