Nation's largest day of volunteering sponsored by Gannett's USA WEEKEND Magazine in partnership with Points of Light unites Americans in a common cause to help others and compete for $130,000 in charitable awards from Newman's OwnMCLEAN, Va., Oct. 22, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- With two weeks to go before the election, millions of Americans can agree on one issue: They will take action to improve the nation on Make A Difference Day, Saturday, October 27. Sponsored by Gannett's USA WEEKEND Magazine in partnership with Points of Light, the nation's largest mobilizer of volunteers, the annual Make A Difference Day inspires millions of Americans to volunteer in service to their neighbors and communities. Thousands of projects are planned involving corporations, communities, non-profit organizations, states and individual Americans. Gannett is leading volunteer projects all across the country. Those projects are funded by $500,000 in grants from The Gannett Foundation. HandsOn Network Action Centers nationwide are also leading projects. "Gannett's purpose it to serve the greater good in the more than 100 local communities we serve. Thousands of Gannett employees will join millions of volunteers across the nation on Saturday to do something good for others. It is rewarding to see the positive impact that Make A Difference Day has for so many people and causes each year," said Gracia Martore, president and chief executive officer, Gannett Co., Inc. "Voluntary service is at the core of who we are as Americans. It is our nature to help our neighbors in times of struggle to work together to establish a more perfect union," said Michelle Nunn, CEO, Points of Light. "Make A Difference Day is a special time to celebrate the power of people using their time, talent, voice and money to create change." The Make A Difference DAYtaBANK at makeadifferenceday.com gathers plans from project leaders across the country detailing how they will help others on October 27. 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. Volunteers can also access the DAYtaBANK via their Android phones with the 2012 Make A Difference Day app, created by Motorola Mobility Foundation and available for free via Google Play. Helping others on Make A Difference Day — and submitting the project for award consideration — makes the effort eligible to receive a $10,000 award from Newman's Own, the food company founded by the late actor and philanthropist Paul Newman. A supporter of Make A Difference Day since 1994, Newman's Own provides $10,000 awards to each of the charities of 13 volunteer efforts recognized as Make A Difference Day honorees. "In the past 18 years, Newman's Own has donated more than $1.8 million in award money to help spread the inspiration and desire of hundreds of initiatives that make a difference in the world. We, along with our partners, have witnessed the incredible growth of ideas that started with a creative thought and exploded into impactful life-changing realities," said Tom Indoe, president and chief operating officer of Newman's Own, Inc. USA WEEKEND Magazine will feature the award honorees in an April 2013 issue. Awards will be presented at an event in Washington, D.C., that same week. A $10,000 All-Star Award funded by the Gannett Foundation and USA WEEKEND will go to a former national honoree who shows continued excellence in volunteerism. Gannett Co., Inc. (NYSE: GCI) is an international media and marketing solutions company that informs and engages more than 100 million people every month through its powerful network of broadcast, digital, mobile and publishing properties. Our portfolio of trusted brands offers marketers unmatched local-to-national reach and customizable, innovative marketing solutions across any platform. Gannett is committed to connecting people – and the companies who want to reach them – with their interests and communities. For more information, visit www.gannett.com. USA WEEKEND Magazine is a national weekly magazine, distributed through more than 800 newspapers in the United States. It created Make A Difference Day in 1992. Awarded for its journalism and design, USA WEEKEND focuses on social issues, entertainment, health, food and travel. USA WEEKEND is a Gannett Co., Inc. (NYSE: GCI) publication. For more information, visit usaweekend.com. Points of Light seeks to inspire, equip and mobilize people to take action that changes the world. For more than 20 years, Points of Light and its volunteer activation enterprise, HandsOn Network, have annually mobilized more than 2.7 million people in a common mission to improve their communities and the lives of others. For more information, visit PointsofLight.org.