Making a Difference in 2019: An Awareness Calendar

The win-win power of generosity.

Posted Jan 08, 2019

     “A life lived for others, is the only life worth living.”  —Albert Einstein

It’s time to begin a new year with a heart of giving: 2019 is marked with many special dates dedicated and devoted to raising awareness about emotional, physical, and psychological health. Finding time to volunteer or contribute to a cause is a great way to start the year. Not only does volunteering help others; it also benefits the physical and psychological health of the volunteer.

Research shows that when we help others, it makes us happy, and the more we give, the happier we feel, as our kindness becomes contagious and positively impacts others, inspiring us to commit more altruistic acts.

Aside from making us feel good, many organizations' survival depends on attracting volunteers. Simply put, there are not enough paid workers to address the needs of our communities. According to the National Council of Nonprofits, most charitable nonprofit organizations are run by board members and volunteers and don’t have any paid staff, which means every volunteer is vital to their very existence.

Data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics show that only about 25 percent of Americans currently volunteer. Just think of the difference you could make in 2019 if you got involved. If you don’t know where to begin, check out the list below of the various months, weeks, and days devoted to special causes this year. Find a cause you're passionate about and do something to help.

Elena Ostapenko/Deposit Photos
Source: Elena Ostapenko/Deposit Photos

January

Quick Fact: Most volunteer activity involves the collection and distribution of food.

National Mentoring Month

National Blood Donor Month

Birth Defects Prevention Month

January 21-25

No Name-Calling Week

January 11

National Human Trafficking Awareness Day

February

Quick Fact: People ages 45-54 (28 percent) have the highest rate of volunteering, followed by people ages 35-44 (29 percent) and people ages 20-24 (18 percent).

Black History Month

Career and Technical Education Month

International Boost Self-Esteem Month

National Cancer Prevention Month

Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month

February 25-March 3

National Eating Disorders Awareness Week

February 1

National Freedom Day

February 4

World Cancer Day

February 17

Random Acts of Kindness Day

Anna Omelchenko/Deposit Photos
Source: Anna Omelchenko/Deposit Photos

March

Quick Fact: Volunteerism has been valued at approximately $184 billion dollars.

American National Nutrition Month

Brain Injury Awareness Month

National Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month

March 3-10

National Sleep Awareness Week

March 8

International Women's Day

March 15

World Sleep Day

March 20

Kick Butts Day (Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids)

March 21

World Down Syndrome Day

International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination

March 22

World Water Day

March 26

American Diabetes Association Alert Day

Purple Day for Epilepsy

April

Quick Fact: Volunteers are worth an estimated $24.14 an hour according to an Independent Sector Study.

Alcohol Awareness Month

Autism Awareness Month

Child Abuse Prevention Month

The Month of the Military Child

National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (NCADD) Alcohol Awareness Month

STD Awareness Month

Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month

Stress Awareness Month

Youth Sports Safety Month

April 8-12

National Youth Violence Prevention Week

April 7-13

National Family Volunteer Week

April 21-27

National Infertility Awareness Week

April 2

Sexual Assault Awareness Day

World Autism Awareness Day

April 7

World Health Day

April 12

Day of Silence

April 13

International FND Awareness Day (Functional Neurological Disorder)

April 25

Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day

May

Quick Fact: According to the Corporation for National and Community Service, most volunteers contribute to religious organizations (34 percent), followed by educational or youth services (26 percent) and social or community service organizations (15 percent).

Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month

Asthma and Allergy Awareness Month

Global Youth Traffic Safety Month

Huntington's Disease Awareness Month

Mental Health Month

Military Appreciation Month

National Foster Care Month

National Mobility Awareness Month

Physical Fitness and Sports Month

Skin Cancer Awareness Month

Teen Pregnancy Prevention Month

May 12-18

National Women's Health Week

National Prevention Week by Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administrations (SAMHSA)

May 9

National Children's Mental Health Awareness Day

May 25

National Missing Children’s Day

May 31

World No Tobacco Day

June

Quick Fact: On average, volunteers, spend 52 hours per year giving their time to help the community, nation, and world.

LGBT Pride Month

Men's Health Month

National Safety Month

PTSD Awareness Month

June 10-16

National Men's Health Week

June 2

National Cancer Survivors Day

June 7

Tourettes Awareness Day

June 16

Father's Day

June 27

PTSD Awareness Day

July

Quick Fact: According to The Corporation for National & Community Service, volunteers are nearly twice as likely to donate to a charity than those who don’t volunteer.

Juvenile Arthritis Awareness Month

National Minority Mental Health Month

July 30

World Day against Trafficking in Persons

 

August

Quick Fact: According to The National Center for Charitable Statistics, there are about 1.5 million nonprofit charities in the U.S.

Children's Eye Health and Safety Month

Immunization Awareness Month

National Breastfeeding Awareness Month

August 26                                             

Women’s Equality Day

August 31                                             

International Overdose Awareness Day

 

September

Quick Fact: According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, women volunteer about 6 percent more than men.

Childhood Cancer Awareness Month

Children’s Good Manners Month

Gynecological Cancer Awareness Month

Hunger Action Month

Poly-cystic Ovarian Syndrome Awareness Month

National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month

National Preparedness Month

National Recovery Month

Sickle Cell Awareness Month

National Hispanic Heritage Month (Sept. 15 to Oct. 15)

September 9-15

National Suicide Prevention Week

September 22-28

Child Passenger Safety Week

September 8

International Literacy Day

Grandparent’s Day

September 10

World Suicide Prevention Day

September 18

National School Backpack Awareness Day

September 29

World Heart Day

Andrzej Tokarski/Deposit Photos
Source: Andrzej Tokarski/Deposit Photos

October

Quick Fact: People who volunteer regularly have a 27 percent greater chance of gaining employment.

ADHD Awareness Month

Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Bullying Prevention Month

Cybersecurity Awareness Month

Domestic Violence Awareness Month

Down Syndrome Awareness Month

Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month

Rett Syndrome Awareness Month

Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) Awareness Month

October 6-12

Mental Illness Awareness Week

October 20-26

National Teen Driver Safety Week (NTDSW)

October 23-31

Red Ribbon Week (Drug-Free America)

October 2

International Day of Non-Violence

October 5

World Teachers’ Day

October 10

World Mental Health Day

National Depression Screening Day

October 12

World Arthritis Day

October 15

Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day

October 16

World Food Day

November

Quick Fact: According to Engaging Volunteers, volunteers are most active in the months of March, April, and November.

Adoption Awareness Month

National Career Development Month

National Complex Regional Pain Syndrome/Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (CRPS) Awareness Month

November 17-23

National Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week

November 13

World Kindness Day

November 15

Great American Smokeout

November 16

International Day for Tolerance

November 18

National Adoption Day

November 21

National Parental Involvement Day

November 23

International Survivors of Suicide Day

November 29

Native American Heritage Day

December

Quick Fact: Volunteers typically devote their time to one organization; 72 percent of volunteers serve only one organization or cause.

National Impaired Driving Prevention Month

Safe Toys and Celebrations Month

December 1

World AIDS Day

December 3

International Day of Persons with Disabilities

December 10

Human Rights Day

America needs more volunteers; we can’t meet all of our needs if only 25 percent of us are giving our time. If you really want to make a difference in 2019, volunteer!

     “When we give cheerfully and accept gratefully, everyone is blessed.”  —Maya Angelou

Disclaimer: I may have unintentionally missed some important dates, or they may not have been posted at the time this post was written. If you have a special day, week or month to bring attention to, please feel free to add your cause/event in the comment section for other readers.

References

Schnall, S., Roper, J., & Fessler, D. M. (2010). Elevation leads to altruistic behavior. Psychological science, 21(3), 315-320.