Special Days/Weeks Related to Volunteerism


Martin Luther King, Jr. Day (US)
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.
3rd Monday

National Mentoring Month (US)
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.


Student Volunteering Week (UK)
Started in 2001, Student Volunteering Week is celebrated throughout universities in the UK to inspire and enable young people to get involved in their communities. Site includes resources and a student-written blog.
Usually last week of February


AmeriCorps Week (US)
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 preceeding National Volunteer Week) and celebrates the positive contributions that millions of young people are making in their communities. Major sponsors are Youth Service America Parade magazine.
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 (CA)
Held to coincide with the American National Volunteer Week dates, Volunteer Canada provides support and media materials to recognize Canadian volunteering.
Usually 3rd Week of April
National Volunteer Week (US)
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.
Usually the 3rd week in April
Student Volunteer Week (NZ)
Student Volunteer Week (SVW) celebrates young people who are striving to make a change through volunteering, and encourages students to try volunteering.
April 1-7


Join Hands Day (US)
On the first Saturday in May, a nationwide volunteer day in the US (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.   
First Saturday in May
National Volunteer Week (AU)
With special projects in each state and region
Senior Corps Week (US)
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 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.
June 21
Volunteer Awareness Week (NZ)
In New Zealand, annual observance of National 'Volunteer Awareness Week'
Third week in June
Volunteers' Week (UK)
UK's national week is always celebrated on 1-7 June in all four countries. 


Mandela Day
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.
July 18


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 (http://www.911day.org(link is external)), "Tomorrow Together," also offers resources. 

National Voter Registration Day (US)
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.
Fourth Tuesday of every September


Be the Change Day (US)
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
October 4


International Volunteer Managers Day
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. 
November 5
Mitzvah Day
UK event that has spread to other countries. "A Mitzvah, literally, is a commandment in Jewish law. However, it is often used to mean a good deed or an act of kindness and that is the basis for Mitzvah Day.  It is an integral part of Jewish life. "On Mitzvah Day, we give our time, not our money, to make a difference to the community around us. We introduce people to social action, to their neighbours and to local charities setting up projects which address real needs. Jewish led, we bring  people of other faiths, and none to volunteer side by side, with fun and laughter,  with our community,  to get to know each other."
"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."
Saturday before Thanksgiving
National Philanthropy Day (US) (CA)
National Philanthropy Day 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.
November 15
"No matter where you are, this is the day to change the world with one simple act of kindness."
November 13


Giving Week (SG)
Sponsored by the National Volunteer & Philanthropy Centre (NVPC), the steward of the City of Good vision for Singapore, where individuals, organisations, and leaders come together to give their best for others. 
First week of 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. 
5 December