On September 5, people worldwide observe the International Day of Charity. This event fosters a sense of generosity and kindness among millions worldwide2. Beyond inspiring people, the International Day of Charity facilitates charitable actions worldwide.
The event is a platform for philanthropic acts that transform understanding into tangible support. But it is also a day about giving time, sharing skills, showing empathy, and promoting solidarity. It reminds us that there are many ways to contribute, and each act of charity can uplift those in need.
Each year, this event emphasizes our shared responsibility towards each other. Charity begins at home, but it should not end there. Read on to learn more.
Featured in: September - Awareness Months, Days & Observances
The United Nations General Assembly established the International Day of Charity in 2012 to acknowledge Mother Teresa of Calcutta's humanitarian work, for which she received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1979. The United Nations General Assembly chose September 5 because it coincided with the anniversary of Mother Teresa's death in 1997.
The International Day of Charity has significantly impacted local and international communities experiencing various humanitarian crises. It honors selfless acts alleviating humanitarian crises and human suffering and addressing socioeconomic challenges, promoting empathy, kindness, and humanitarian interventions.
From its early days, the International Day of Charity has focused on raising public awareness, facilitating charitable efforts worldwide, and contributing to the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals.
Stressing the critical role of charity in promoting human welfare, the event represents a long-standing ethos of solidarity and social cohesion.
Related Read: National Volunteer Month
The International Day of Charity highlights a persistent issue of humanity: poverty.
Hunger impacted a staggering 828 million people in 2021, marking a considerable spike from previous years. Nearly 10% of the global population struggled with hunger, reinforcing the growing crisis.
Moreover, hunger mainly affects children. In 2019, malnutrition stunted the growth of up to 144 million children under five.
The growing threat of climate change exacerbates the problem1. Climate change can severely impact agricultural productivity, worsen natural disasters, and displace entire communities.
Charities addressing such issues face difficulties, including a need for more resources and corruption.
Our primary focus is to wipe out extreme poverty globally by 2030, a crucial target set by the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Through the International Day of Charity, we all act and overcome poverty for a better tomorrow.
Related read: Poverty Facts & Statistics.
Globally, efforts to eradicate poverty through charitable giving are gaining momentum, with numerous organizations like the United Nations through the World Food Programme. There are also nonprofits like the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and Oxfam International.
Among others, these entities invest in resource provision for impoverished communities and actively involve themselves in policy development and advocacy for poverty alleviation.
The United States focuses on poverty eradication not only through direct giving but also by strongly emphasizing policies and programs that enable self-sufficiency.
Prominent American charitable initiatives such as Feeding America and United Way function on multi-level strategies, from food provision and educational support to offering financial assistance and workforce development programs.
Charitable giving, whether in a local or international community, can significantly contribute to eradicating poverty. As we mark the International Day of Charity, let's remember that every act of selfless giving can make a difference. Start today, uplift a life, and contribute to a better future for all.
International Day of Charity is an annual observance established by the United Nations to encourage everyone to help others through volunteer and philanthropic activities.
It is celebrated on September 5th every year.
It raises awareness about the importance of charitable acts in addressing social and humanitarian issues globally.
Donate money to charitable organizations, volunteer your time and skills, or organize fundraising events to support a cause you care about.
You can positively impact the lives of others, contribute to the betterment of society, and promote empathy, compassion, and solidarity.
FAO, IFAD, UNICEF, WFP and WHO. 2022. The State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World 2022. Repurposing food and agricultural policies to make healthy diets more affordable. Rome, FAO.
Bekkers, R., & Wiepking, P. (2011). A Literature Review of Empirical Studies of Philanthropy: Eight Mechanisms That Drive Charitable Giving. Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly, 40(5), 924–973.
Sargeant, A., & Woodliffe, L. (2007). Building Donor Loyalty: The Antecedents and Role of Commitment in the Context of Charity Giving. Journal of Nonprofit & Public Sector Marketing, 18(2), 47-68.