Make A Difference Day will take place this Saturday, October 25, in neighborhoods throughout the country, bringing Americans together for the common good.

Millions will participate in the nation’s largest day of volunteerism, sponsored by Gannett’s USA WEEKEND Magazine in partnership with Points of Light, the nation’s largest organization dedicated to volunteer service.

From cleaning parks to working with local animal rescues, thousands of independently created projects are scheduled across the country, comprising efforts from individuals, corporations, universities, communities, states and nonprofit organizations. Gannett is leading nearly 100 volunteer projects across the country – with $490,000 in grant funding from the Gannett Foundation. Points of Light’s HandsOn affiliates will be coordinating projects as well.

“Make A Difference Day is a chance for Americans to come together for the common purpose of doing good and helping others,” said Gracia Martore, president and chief executive officer, Gannett Co., Inc. “As a company, Gannett is built on serving our local communities, and with Make A Difference Day, we’re proud to make a positive impact in the communities we serve and hope it inspires continued volunteerism throughout the year.”

“Make A Difference Day has become such a great opportunity for volunteers to change lives,” said Tracy Hoover, president of Points of Light. “If you don’t currently volunteer, Make A Difference Day is a great opportunity to start. If you already volunteer, this weekend is a great time to ask a friend to join you. Remember, a single person can change a life; millions can change our communities and our nation.”

Those looking to start a project or join an existing one can do so at makeadifferenceday.com. The site has information on projects across the country detailing how they will help others on October 25. The interactive database also allows visitors to search for events in their community. Toolkits, a marketing guide and other resources are available to help project planners.

Newman's Own, founded on the philosophy of philanthropy, embraces volunteerism and awards $130,000 in grants to the top 13 projects that make a difference in their local communities. These grants can be used to expand the winner’s project or can be donated to the project leader’s charity of choice. A supporter of Make a Difference Day since 1994, Newman’s Own offers more than 100 varieties of high quality food and beverage products with the commitment to donate all profits to charity.

“Since the founding of Newman’s Own in 1982, Paul Newman believed in the importance of giving back. He respected the Make A Difference Day initiative and viewed it as a great mechanism for encouraging volunteerism. We are proud to continue the tradition," said Tom Indoe, president and chief operating officer, Newman’s Own.

Award honorees will be featured in a future issue of USA WEEKEND Magazine and will be presented with their awards at an event in Washington, DC, in spring 2015. A $10,000 All-Star Award funded by the Gannett Foundation will be presented to a former national honoree who exhibits continued excellence in volunteerism.

Source: PR Newswire

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