Making a Difference in 2019: An Awareness Calendar

The win-win power of generosity.

Posted Jan 08, 2019

Yordan Zhivkov/Deposit Photos
Source: Yordan Zhivkov/Deposit Photos

Another year has come and gone and it’s time to begin the New Year with a heart of giving. The year 2019 is marked with many special dates dedicated and devoted to raising awareness about emotional, physical and psychological health issues. Finding time to volunteer or contribute to a wonderful cause is a great way to start off the New Year. Not only does volunteer help others, but it also helps the person contributing.

Did you know that the act of volunteering has been linked to overall happiness? In an article in Harvard’s HealthGuide, authors noted that volunteering is good for your physical and psychological health. According to research when we help others it makes us happy. The more we give the happier we feel, and our kindness becomes contagious and positively impacts others. According to a study published in Psychological Science, when we help someone we feel good and that leads to more altruistic acts. And, no surprise here, the volunteer's happiness pales in comparison to the joy of those on the receiving end of the generous service.

Aside from making people feel good, many organizations very survival depends on volunteers. Simply put, there are not enough paid workers to address the vast needs in our community. 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.

Sadly, data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics show that only about 25 percent of Americans volunteer. Just think of the difference you could make in 2019 if you became a volunteer. If you want to volunteer but don’t know where to begin to check out the list below of various months, weeks and days that are devoted to a special cause. Find an event or organization that you're passionate about and do something to help. Not only will you make an impressionable impact in someone else’s life you’ll be making one in your own.

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

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

January

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

Day

January 11, 2019

National Human Trafficking Awareness Day

Week

January 21-25, 2019

No Name-Calling Week

Month

January 1 – January 31, 2019

National Mentoring Month

National Blood Donor Month

Birth Defects Prevention Month

February

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

Day

February 1, 2019

National Freedom Day

National Wear Red Day

February 4, 2019

World Cancer Day

February 17, 2019

Random Acts of Kindness Day

Week

February 25 – March 3, 2019

National Eating Disorders Awareness Week

Month

February 1 – February 28, 2019

Black History Month

Career and Technical Education Month

International Boost Self-Esteem Month

National Cancer Prevention Month

Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month

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

March

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

Day

March 8, 2019

International Women's Day

March 15, 2019

World Sleep Day

March 20, 2019

Kick Butts Day (Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids)

March 21, 2019

World Down Syndrome Day

International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination

March 22, 2019

World Water Day

March 26, 2019

American Diabetes Association Alert Day

Purple Day for Epilepsy

Week

March 3-10, 2019

National Sleep Awareness Week

Month

March 1 – March 31, 2019

American National Nutrition Month

Brain Injury Awareness Month

National Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month

April

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

Day

April 2, 2019

Sexual Assault Awareness Day

World Autism Awareness Day

April 7, 2019

World Health Day

April 10, 2019

Siblings Day

April 12, 2019

Day of Silence

April 13, 2019

International FND Awareness Day (Functional Neurological Disorder)

April 25, 2019

Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day

Week

April 8 - 12, 2019

National Youth Violence Prevention Week

April  7 - 13, 2019

National Family Volunteer Week

April  21 - 27, 2019

National Infertility Awareness Week

April 29 – May 5, 2019

Screen-Free Week - unplug from digital entertainment

Month

April 1 – April 30, 2019

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

Anjali/Deposit Photos
Source: Anjali/Deposit Photos

May

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

Day

May 9, 2019

National Children's Mental Health Awareness Day

May 12, 2019

Mother’s Day

May 25, 2019

National Missing Children’s Day

May 31, 2019

World No Tobacco Day

Week

May 12 –18, 2019

National Women's Health Week

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

Month

May 1 – May 31, 2019

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

June

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

Day

June 2, 2019

National Cancer Survivors Day

June 7, 2019

Tourettes Awareness Day

June 16, 2019

Father's Day

June 27, 2019

PTSD Awareness Day

Week

June 10 –16, 2019

National Men's Health Week

Month

June  1 – June 30, 2019

LGBT Pride Month

Men's Health Month

National Safety Month

PTSD Awareness Month

Lukas Gojda/Deposit Photos
Source: Lukas Gojda/Deposit Photos

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.

Day

July 30, 2019

World Day against Trafficking in Persons

Month

July 1 – 31, 2019

Juvenile Arthritis Awareness Month

National Minority Mental Health Month

August

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

Day

August 4, 2019

Friendship Day

August 13, 2019

National Left Handers Day

August 26, 2019                                              

Women’s Equality Day

August 31, 2019                                              

International Overdose Awareness Day

Month

August 1 – August 31, 2019

Children's Eye Health and Safety Month

Immunization Awareness Month

National Breastfeeding Awareness Month

September

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

Day

September 8, 2019

International Literacy Day

Grandparent’s Day

September 10, 2019

World Suicide Prevention Day

September 18, 2019

National School Backpack Awareness Day

September 29, 2019

World Heart Day

Week

September 9 – 15, 2019

National Suicide Prevention Week

September 22-28, 2019

Child Passenger Safety Week

Month

September 1 – 30, 2019

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)

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

October

Quick Fact: People who volunteer regularly have a 27% better chance of gaining employment.

Day

October 2, 2019

International Day of Non-Violence

October 5, 2019

World Teachers’ Day

October 10, 2019

World Mental Health Day

National Depression Screening Day

October 12, 2019

World Arthritis Day

October 15, 2019

Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day

October 16, 2019

World Food Day

Week

October 6 - 12, 2019

Mental Illness Awareness Week

October 20 – 26, 2019

National Teen Driver Safety Week (NTDSW)

October 23 – 31, 2019

Red Ribbon Week (Drug-Free America)

Month

October 1 – October 31, 2019

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

November

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

Day

November 13, 2019

World Kindness Day

November 15, 2019

Great American Smokeout

November 16, 2019

International Day for Tolerance

November 18, 2019

National Adoption Day

November 21, 2019

National Parental Involvement Day

November 23, 2019

International Survivors of Suicide Day

November 29, 2019

Native American Heritage Day

Week

November 17 – November 23, 2019

National Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week

Month

November 1 – November 30, 2019

Adoption Awareness Month

National Career Development Month

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

Michiko Tierney/Deposit Photos
Source: Michiko Tierney/Deposit Photos

December

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

Day

December 1, 2019

World AIDS Day

December 3, 2019

International Day of Persons with Disabilities

December 10, 2019

Human Rights Day

Month

December 1 – December 31, 2019

National Impaired Driving Prevention Month

Safe Toys and Celebrations Month

Gustavo Frazao/Deposit Photos
Source: Gustavo Frazao/Deposit Photos

The act of volunteering is a generous one that has a lot of healthy perks for both the recipient and receiver. America needs more people volunteering their time. As a community, we can’t meet all of our needs if only 25 percent of us are giving our time to help. 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 blog 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. Wishing you a wonderful and prosperous 2019!

References

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

More Posts