Making a Difference in 2019: An Awareness Calendar
The win-win power of generosity.
Posted January 8, 2019 | Reviewed by Gary Drevitch
“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.
Quick Fact: Most volunteer activity involves the collection and distribution of food.
National Mentoring Month
National Blood Donor Month
Birth Defects Prevention Month
No Name-Calling Week
National Human Trafficking Awareness Day
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
International Boost Self-Esteem Month
National Cancer Prevention Month
February 25-March 3
National Eating Disorders Awareness Week
National Freedom Day
World Cancer Day
Random Acts of Kindness Day
Quick Fact: Volunteerism has been valued at approximately $184 billion dollars.
American National Nutrition Month
Brain Injury Awareness Month
National Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month
National Sleep Awareness Week
International Women's Day
World Sleep Day
Kick Butts Day (Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids)
World Down Syndrome Day
International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination
World Water Day
American Diabetes Association Alert Day
Purple Day for Epilepsy
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
National Youth Violence Prevention Week
National Family Volunteer Week
National Infertility Awareness Week
Sexual Assault Awareness Day
World Autism Awareness Day
World Health Day
Day of Silence
International FND Awareness Day (Functional Neurological Disorder)
Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day
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
National Women's Health Week
National Prevention Week by Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administrations (SAMHSA)
National Children's Mental Health Awareness Day
National Missing Children’s Day
World No Tobacco Day
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
National Men's Health Week
National Cancer Survivors Day
Tourettes Awareness Day
PTSD Awareness Day
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
World Day against Trafficking in Persons
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
Women’s Equality Day
International Overdose Awareness Day
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 )
National Suicide Prevention Week
Child Passenger Safety Week
International Literacy Day
World Suicide Prevention Day
National School Backpack Awareness Day
World Heart Day
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
Mental Illness Awareness Week
National Teen Driver Safety Week (NTDSW)
Red Ribbon Week (Drug-Free America)
International Day of Non-Violence
World Teachers’ Day
World Mental Health Day
National Depression Screening Day
World Arthritis Day
Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day
World Food Day
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
National Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week
World Kindness Day
Great American Smokeout
International Day for Tolerance
National Adoption Day
National Parental Involvement Day
International Survivors of Suicide Day
Native American Heritage Day
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
World AIDS Day
International Day of Persons with Disabilities
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.
Schnall, S., Roper, J., & Fessler, D. M. (2010). Elevation leads to altruistic behavior. Psychological science, 21(3), 315-320.