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GRAND RAPIDS (WZZM) --This weekend is your chance to do something potentially life-changing for one of your neighbors.

The 23rd annualMake A Difference Day is this Saturday. It's the nation's largest day of action.

A few hours volunteering at a local food pantry, pitching in and sprucing up a public library, and spending valuable moments encouraging and inspiring young school students. These are just a few of the ways people across the country are gearing up and giving back for this year's Make A Difference Day.

"It is a nationwide effort and it has mobilized groups of people on college campuses, in communities in church groups to do all kinds of community service work," says Catherine Behrendt, WZZM 13's Local Programming and Community Director.

The day was foundedin 1991by Gannett, WZZM 13's parent company. Over the past two decades, the fourth Saturday in October has become a day when groups, families, and businesses address the needs in their communities.

"Who better than us? We tell the stories of need in the community. We celebrate the success and talk about where help is needed, so lets roll up our sleeves and do something too," says Behrendt.

She says, this year, dozen of station employees will volunteer at Feeding America West Michigan, an organization committed to the addressing issues of hunger and poverty.

"Anyone who has rolled up their sleeves and stood side by side with somebody else doing this kind of work knows how great it feels at the end of the day to have done it," says Behrendt.

Those interested in getting involved are encouraged to log onto http://makeadifferenceday.com and register an event.
But even if you don't organize or join an existing project, Make A Difference Day is the perfect time to give back anyway you can.

"Do something. Make a difference to somebody. Rake the neighbors yard. Go get somebody's mail and go deliver it to their door. Whatever you can do to make a difference, that is what this is all about," says Behrendt.