It's safe to say that nobody is a fan of 2020, but that hasn't stopped the NoCo community from rallying to give back.

The United Way of Larimer County is celebrating local volunteerism on October 24 for its 22nd annual Make a Difference Day, which encourages the public to take part in a community-wide day of service.

Interested individuals can sign up for free on NoCoVolunteers.org, and choose from hundreds of virtual and in-person volunteer opportunities with over 50 local non-profits.

"There's such a high need for volunteer support," said Lauren Leary, Community Impact Manager with United Way, in our "Tuned In to NoCo" interview. "Hosting Make a Difference Day really gives us a chance to shine a light on this community and engage folks in the community who want to give back and volunteer."

While Make a Difference Day helps those in need, it can also be beneficial for the volunteers themselves.

According to a recent study from Harvard University, volunteering can actually improve an individual's mental health — something that is more important than ever when coping with stressors like the pandemic and the Cameron Peak Fire.

On top of a much-needed mental boost, volunteers will receive a United Way of Larimer County t-shirt, and have the chance to win gift cards from local businesses.

And even though the event itself is just one day, the United Way is inviting individuals to participate all month long.

"It really is so empowering to just learn something new about what's going on," said Leary. "I think you gain a deeper sense of perspective when you can get out of your comfort zone and do something for your community, especially in the current moment we're in."

Learn more about Make a Difference Day by listening to the full "Tuned In to NoCo" interview with Lauren Leary below.

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