Saturday 5 September is International Day of Charity. But, in a world of national and international days such as Penguin Awareness Day (are we not all aware of penguins already?) and National Awkward Moments Day (awkwardly, it was on March 18, so we’ve missed it this year!), what makes International Day of Charity such a worthy cause?
What Is International Day of Charity?
International Day of Charity was started by the United Nations (UN) in 2012. The idea was first conceived by a Hungarian civil society and got the backing of the Hungarian Parliament who then presented it to the UN.
You may be wondering why is it on 5 September? Well, this date was chosen to commemorate the death of Mother Teresa who died on 5 September 1997.
Mother Teresa is, of course, famous for devoting her life to caring for poor and sick people which makes September 5 an appropriate date to have an International Day of Charity.
This day falls under the umbrella of the UN’s 2030 Agenda For Sustainable Development, so unlike some of the fun and quirky national/international days we mentioned earlier, this day is actually part of a global initiative to help people and our planet.
What Can We Do to Help on International Day of Charity?
There are several ways to help on International Day of Charity, depending on how much time (and money) you may have!
The majority of charities rely on donations and as reported by the Directory of Social Change:
“There are over 168,000 charities on the Charity Commission register. Just under three-quarters of those have an annual income below £100,000 and are likely to have few or no paid staff”.
So, any donation to a charity, no matter how small, really does help. Have a think about what particular charities you would like to focus on, or which causes have a special place in your heart.
Do you want to help international charities such as Médecins Sans Frontières or Save The Children? Or National Charites like the Trussell Trust, the RSPCA or local charities in your city, town or village? Like us, you probably want to help them all!
As much as we would like to, we can’t all afford to give all our money to charity, but there are other ways that you could help International Day of Charity.
Donate Your Time on International Charity Day
The shadow that is the Coronavirus is still hanging over us all, and most, if not all, charities have tried to help those in need, in these unprecedented times.
As we mentioned earlier, without volunteers, most charities would cease to exist. So, if you can, why not investigate volunteering at a charity of your choice or even just contacting them to find out how you can help.
They may be calling out for donations of food or clothes, people to answer the phone, serve meals, and any number of ways that you could help.
As we approach Winter, in a global pandemic, heading into a recession, charities are going to need all the help they can get.
Local communities will often arrange jumble sales, baking days, warm clothes collections. These may not get the same attention as Comic Relief or Children in Need, but are just as vital to help those people or animals that urgently need help.
Is Raising Awareness A Good Idea?
Ah yes, raising awareness. Talk to 50 people about this, and you will get more arguments than a Facebook status about Brexit.
For what it’s worth, our view is that raising awareness on its own may not be the most effective way of helping a charity.
Facebook likes and Twitter retweets certainly may raise awareness, but they don’t always convert that awareness into donations or help.
A good example of how raising awareness can work, and how an idea can go viral is the Ice Bucket Challenge from 2014.
If you don’t already know, this was where people were filmed on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram having a bucket of ice-cold water poured over them for charity.
As this challenge grew and grew on social media over the world, it wasn’t even clear what the good cause was and how the money was being raised. But people still joined in, including international celebrities, keeping the challenge in the limelight for months.
However, this challenge made such a global impact that the ALS Association (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Association), who were the original charity behind the ice bucket challenge reported that: “Donations from the 2014 ALS Ice Bucket Challenge enabled The ALS Association to increase its annual funding for research around the world by 187 per cent”
187 per cent! Maybe this social media malarkey is going to be useful, after all!
International Day of Charity – Summary
As you can see, there are so many ways that people can help charities, and hopefully, if they choose to help for International Day of Charity, they will continue to help throughout the rest of the year.
With so many charities looking for help, some all for the same worthy causes, it can be a bit confusing trying to find out which charity to help.
So, here at Ability Superstore we are in the process of compiling an up to date list on our website of disability organisations, health advice organisations, mental health, and children’s support groups.
Take a look in more detail here and if you want any further questions about disability support answered, then please do contact us.
You can call us free on 0800 255 0498 and our friendly team of experts will be more than happy to have help.