National Make a Difference Day was on Oct. 23 and celebrated those working for the good of others. The day also encouraged others to join in and find a way to have a positive impact on the world.
Making a difference can be something as small as holding the door open for someone, or as big as starting a nonprofit or an organization. However, no matter what way someone decides to make a difference, the benefits of community service are limitless.
According to Volunteer Hub, those who volunteer regularly have a 27 percent better chance of gaining employment. The organization also notes that 60 percent of hiring managers see volunteering as a valuable asset.
Doing good can also have many health benefits such as reducing stress and increasing one’s life expectancy. Not to mention it is a good way to connect with your community and get to know the people who live in your area. This will allow you to make important connections and to get some perspective from people who have had different experiences than you.
Here are some ways you can make a difference:
In your local community
- Show an act of kindness to a stranger
- Volunteer with a local organization
- Donate old clothes or belongings to a local drop off place
- Start a community garden
- Give someone a compliment
- Clean up trash in your neighborhood
- Adopt a shelter animal
On a larger scale
- Protest or advocate for a cause you care about
- Make a donation online to a charity
- Donate blood with the Red Cross
- Recycle and work to live more sustainably
- Shout out a national or global charity or program on your social media
- Write a letter to a soldier overseas
Below, are 10 grants that are available on GrantWatch to fund projects focused on making a difference.
Five Grants for Local Community Service Projects
- Grants of up to $5,000 to U.S. nonprofit organizations, government entities, faith-based organizations, K-12 schools, and IHEs to benefit the local community. Funding is to meet the needs of local residents, including supporting food pantries, animal shelters, soup kitchens, clothing closets, community clean-up projects, and elder services.
- In addition, there is an opportunity for individuals and middle or high school students to participate in a competition to recognize contributions to the community. The winning individual and student will receive funds to continue their work of improving the lives of others.
- There are also grants of up to $475 to U.S. American Indian and Alaska Native youth between the ages of thirteen and twenty-one years old for community services projects. Applicants must conduct their community service projects with the help of an adult guide.
- Funding of $1,000 to U.S., Canada, and International individuals, groups, and organizations to develop small, community-based projects in a wide range of areas, including arts, community development, and technology. Funding is to create positive change in the community.
- Finally, there are grants of up to $1,000 and in-kind support to U.S., Canada, and International organizations, nonprofits, and individuals for grassroots community projects. Funding is for a broad range of initiatives that improve the quality of life for people worldwide.
Five Grants to Fund U.S. Nonprofits
- Grants of up to $5,000 to U.S. nonprofit organizations for programs that benefit animals and their caregivers. Applicants must submit a letter of introduction prior to applying. Funding is to support senior animals, pet food pantries, veterinary costs, adoption services, medical expenses, and rescue services for senior animals, special needs programs, senior care programs, and spay/neuter programs.
- In-kind grants of donated goods and services to U.S. organizations for distribution programs to support homeless, low-income, and disabled veterans. The types of donated goods vary but will include vital necessities like water, health and hygiene, and clothing items for veterans from all walks of life.
- There are also grants to U.S., territories, and international nonprofit organizations for urgent disaster relief. Funding is for cases where the applicant lacks food and shelter due to the disaster and urgently requires assistance. The Funding Source partners with organizations at the site of the disaster to reach those in need effectively and in a timely manner.
- Funding of up to $10,000 to U.S. nonprofit organizations and schools for programs that provide music education to children and youth.
- Finally, there are grants of up to $1,000 to U.S., Canada, and international nonprofit organizations, schools, and groups for a wide variety of public garden projects. Eligible projects include, but are not limited to, senior gardens, school gardens, community gardens, and many others.