For more than 20 years, many CJ students have spent the last weekend in October "joining hands" with several community organizations in the Miami Valley to volunteer at local parks and homeless shelters, clean up neighborhoods and visit nursing homes. The project known as Make a Difference Day (formerly Join Hands Miami Valley) serves as the area's celebration of National Make a Difference Day, and is organized by the United Way of Greater Dayton. Join Hands Miami Valley will be during the weekend of Oct. 27-28, 2017.
Student leaders are tasked with organizing small groups of classmates and faculty and staff members to work at 15 to 20 service sites throughout the area. In the spring of 2009, Join Hands Miami Valley was recognized by Ohio's governor as one of the state's top ten volunteer projects conducted on "Make a Difference Day." In 2012, the United Way successfully doubled its efforts with roughly 30 local non-profit agencies pitching in at nearly 40 project sites.