5th September is the International Day of Charity celebrated by businesses and citizens worldwide. Charity can help alleviate the pain of humanitarian crises and help improve causes such as health, education, housing and public services. Charity is a way of bonding societies, much like volunteering and philanthropy.
In 2011, The International Day of Charity was created as a Hungarian Civil Society initiative supported by the Hungarian Government and Parliament. Its aim was to raise awareness of the importance of social solidarity, social responsibility and public support for charity.
The date of 5th September was chosen for an exceptional reason. This date commemorates the anniversary of the passing of the 1979 Nobel Peace Prize winner, Mother Teresa. She assisted in the struggle of overtaking poverty and distress of Indian citizens for over 45 years. In 1928 she went to India for the sole reason of dedicating her life to helping people in need; in 1948, she became a citizen and founded the Order of Missionaries of Charity.
On 17th December 2012, in reply to a proposal by Hungary, the United Nations General Assembly designated 5th September the International Day of Charity. The resolution was co-sponsored by 44 UN Member States.
What Happens On This Day
Across all 44 UN Member States, this day is celebrated differently. In many European countries, businesses in the hospitality sector, such as restaurants and bars, often donate a large percentage of their profits to charities in their area or worldwide. Citizens often organise car-boot and garage sales and donate all profits to nearby charities. In contrast, corporate businesses donate their profits from this day to charities that help assist struggling companies or organisations.
How Can We Celebrate?
If you have the financial resources and availability to celebrate this day in style, you could offer to support your employees while they do a day of volunteering and for every employee that volunteers, you add £100 to a pot. Then, between yourself and your employees, you can choose which charity the funds will get donated to. If your business doesn’t have this flexibility, you can arrange a simple cake sale in the office or a Mufty day where your employees can pay £2 to wear their own clothes to the office on this day. Either way, something is better than nothing, and even if you do something small in your business, it will be recognised by your employees. At the end of the day, social solidarity is precisely what we are celebrating here.
If you don’t have the ability to arrange a celebration within your own business, simply participate in one elsewhere, alone or with your employees. For example, many municipalities hold significant events in city centres, such as concerts, performances and exciting challenges. The entry fee to these events is what’s donated to the charities afterwards.
At QHERE, we have been thinking about which charities we would like to donate to this year.
Let us know in the comments which charities you wholeheartedly support!