Special Days/Weeks Related to Volunteerism

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.

3rd Monday

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.

February

Random Act of Kindness Day is dedicated to celebrating the little things we do for others.

February 17

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 month

March

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.

April

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 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.

 

Microvolunteering Day is a unique opportunity for microvolunteering platforms, volunteer involved organisations & individuals to join together in a synchronised effort to demonstrate the empowering potential of the microvolunteering concept. It is primarily aimed at: 

  • engaging individuals in microvoluntering tasks
  • inspiring organisations to embrace the idea
  • stimulating discussion on the concept
  • sharing photos + stories via #Microday

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, 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 (SVW) celebrates young people who are striving to make a change through volunteering, and encourages students to try volunteering.

April 1-7

May

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

With special projects in each state and region.

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.

June

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

In New Zealand, annual observance of National 'Volunteer Awareness Week' 

Third week in June

StarUK's national week is always celebrated on 1-7 June in all four countries. 

July

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

September

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), "Tomorrow Together," also offers resources. 

 

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

October

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

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."

Last week of October

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. 

 

November 5

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."

November/December

"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 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

December

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