Make a Difference: America's Guide to Volunteering and Community Service

Make a Difference: America's Guide to Volunteering and Community Service

Make a Difference: America's Guide to Volunteering and Community Service

Make a Difference: America's Guide to Volunteering and Community Service


Do you want to become a volunteer but feel overwhelmed by the sheer volume of organizations to choose from? Look no further than this revised edition of the bestselling book Make a Difference!

Complied and written by Arthur Blaustein, adjunct professor of social and urban policy at the University of California, Berkeley, and faculty advisor for its Americorps program, this guide offers valuable information for everyone inspired to give back to their communities. Make a Difference will help you find innumerable opportunities to put your expertise and talents to good use.

This revised and expanded guide includes more than 185 national, nonprofit organizations that use volunteers of all ages to make a difference where it counts. Make a Difference also lists 30 organizations that give up-to-date information on critical issues and policies. Whether you want to tutor a child or an adult, promote a cause you care about, or get hands-on experience at an organization's headquarters, Make a Difference will inspire you to get out there and make a difference in your community--and your life.


The traditions of community service and citizen participation have been at the heart of American civic culture since before the nation was founded. Whether through town hall meetings, the local school board, a political party, a hospital auxiliary, or one of our innumerable other national and local organizations, Americans have felt and acted on the need to give something back to their communities. Since the events of September 11, 2001, and in the midst of our nation’s two-year economic decline, this need has become more urgent as Americans have become more introspective and more patriotic, and more anxious. Patriotism and anxiety have taken many different forms, but one thing is clear: our concern for our country, our communities, our families, and our neighbors has become more acute and our need to contribute more urgent.

With firefighters, police officers, and rescue teams leading the way after September 11, many thousands of ordinary citizens—ironworkers, teachers, public health clinicians, professionals, businesspeople, and schoolchildren—volunteered to go to Ground Zero or offered their support from a distance. Everything from blankets to blood, peanut butter to poetry, arrived in New York City by the bale, the gallon, the barrel, and the ream. Americans didn’t wait until January 1, 2002, to make resolutions; in midSeptember, many resolved to be more caring and giving.

Make a Difference is here to help harness this outpouring of compassion, energy, concern, and patriotism in creative and useful ways. If you’ve decided to make a difference because of the events of September 11 or if volunteering is one of those things you’ve been meaning to do all along but just haven’t gotten around to, or if you’re just curious about what’s out there, this book can help you take the next step. It is designed to help you decide that you can make a contribution to the well-being of your community. It will help to answer the why, the how, the what, and the when. Why is community service important? How can you get in touch with a group that promotes the values and goals that you believe . . .

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed


An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.