PT Day of Service: A Movement, A Mission, A Commitment

On a chilly Saturday in October of 2016, students from the Cal State Long Beach DPT program were joined by students from the University of St. Augustine and MGH Institute of Health Professions DPT programs and local clinicians at Hudson Park in Long Beach, CA. We joined the Filipino Migrant Center of Long Beach’s Walking Club to educate the Pilipino community about the importance of wellness, exercise, and the role of physical therapists in the healthcare system. I was fortunate to serve as the PT Day of Service Ambassador that put together that service project for the city of Long Beach. The opportunity to bring together students, clinicians, and the Filipino community of Long Beach defines my PT Day of Service experience – bringing communities together.

PT Day of Service is more than just an international initiative to promote community service. PT Day of Service is a movement, a mission, and a commitment to use our knowledge, skills, and passion to bring our communities together. What I love about PT Day of Service is how contagious it is. What began as a simple question of “What if?” has mobilized clinicians and students across the world. Last year, PT Day of Service’s 3rd year, we saw volunteers from all 51 APTA Chapters and over 55 countries!

This year PT Day of Service is continuing its goal of being a transformative force for our profession and our local communities. PT Day of Service 2018 is set for Saturday, October 13. Looking to learn more and get involved with PT Day of Service this year? Getting involved is as easy as 1-2-3!

  1. Pledge to participate as either a Participant or Ambassador.
  2. Either find a service event with a local Ambassador (check out our Ambassador Map) or plan an event as an Ambassador. The Ambassador role is perfect for someone planning to organize a service event for their PT/PTA program or for their workplace.
  3. Spread the word and serve! We count service events that occur within 1 week of October 13. Recruiting your friends, family, and colleagues from other health professions to participate in your service events is also highly encouraged! Don’t forget to document your service event with pictures and videos and post them on social with the hashtag #PTDOS.

Keep up with us as we prepare to serve in October, you can follow us on our Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram where we post important updates and highlight the amazing things done by everyone involved.

If you have any questions about PT Day of Service, or our parent organization Move Together, you can fill out THIS FORM or email us directly at

We’re looking forward to another amazing year of service!

Matthew Downey PT, DPT is an outpatient physical therapist at Kaiser Permanente San Jose and the chair of the PT Day of Service Communications & Outreach Team. Follow him on twitter @MattyLMNOP.