Formerly known as “J Day,” the annual celebration of international education and exchanges known as Exchange Day brings together participants of the Exchange Visitor Program to #EatPlayGive as they participate in organized community service projects. Since its launch in 2014, the celebration has grown significantly. In 2018, there were 47 J Day events held across 24 states and Washington, D.C. But though the newly-renamed Exchange Day is a large-scale annual celebration taking place throughout the U.S., the concept behind it is very simple.
Regardless of whether you have seen or heard the term, know about the J-1 Exchange Visitor Program, or have even participated in an actual event, you might still be a little confused about J Day. The annual celebration of international education and exchanges, which brings Exchange Visitor Program participants and hosts together to #EatPlayGive as they participate in organized community service projects has grown significantly since its launch in 2014 to encompass 47 J Day events held across 24 states and Washington, D.C. in 2018. But the scale of the nationwide effort today masks the simplicity behind the original concept.
Small acts, when multiplied by millions of people, can transform the world. –Howard Zinn, Author of “A People’s History of the United States” There is an understanding that is pervasive in the United States: the transformative power of volunteering. Community service projects and volunteer-run organizations have become as American as apple pie and baseball. These days, community service is thought of less as a punishment and more as a type of education, a baseline for college acceptance, and a part of many national and religious holiday celebrations.
There are few American pastimes as important and pervasive as volunteerism. You can even say that it is built into the fabric of America, as it dates back to colonial times. Today, nearly one in four Americans, an estimated 62.6 million people, give their time and talents to benefit their communities through service. Giving back is an integral part of U.S. culture, and thus, such opportunities are a mainstay in our exchange programs and across our work to expose international visitors to our country and way of life. This past week, we hosted two special volunteer events in recognition of J Day, an annual nationwide celebration of the power…
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