How to Honor the International Day of Charity

The International Day of Charity was established by the United Nations (UN) to recognize “the role of charity in alleviating humanitarian crises and human ‎suffering within and among nations.” It was designated the 5th of September, the anniversary of the death of Mother Teresa—the Roman Catholic nun who founded the Missionaries of Charity and later won a Nobel Peace Prize.

Though most often affiliated with the work Mother Teresa did in Calcutta, India, the Missionaries of Charity works globally to reduce poverty and provide aid to refugees, prostitutes, abandoned children, lepers, people with AIDS and many more.

The UN encourages people worldwide to be charitable to others every day, but especially on this day. Here are 7 types of charitable actions that can make a difference.

1) Donate money - Most nonprofit organizations don’t have nearly enough funds to achieve their missions. This is particularly true of groups that serve the homeless, the mentally ill and the disenfranchised, exactly the kind of people Mother Teresa first helped when she went to India. Your support will be appreciated whether you donate to a local group in your community or an organization working on a national or international scale. Use Charity Navigator to find a reputable organization to support.

2) Donate time – Are there organizations or individuals who need immediate assistance to help overcome a particular challenge or crisis? Check your neighborhood list-serv, the place where you worship or local relief agencies to locate people or places that need immediate assistance. 

3) Donate goods – Fires, floods and extreme weather events create unexpected needs as individuals, families and whole communities may find themselves out on the street with little more than the clothes on their backs. Donations of food, blankets, medical supplies, clothing and even school supplies may be highly welcomed.

4) Become a volunteer – Use the International Day of Charity as the impetus to sign up to volunteer for an organization or cause you’ve been thinking about. Nonprofit organizations may have a whole host of needs, from supporting fundraising and outreach to answering phones and staffing events. Local schools can use volunteers to help in classrooms and with after school programs. Arts groups, church and temple programs, community gardens, Meals-on-Wheels initiatives, soup kitchens and local beautification efforts can all benefit from volunteer help.

5) Promote charities on social media – One way to promote charitable action is on social media. Use #charity #charitablegiving #DayofCharity on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, SnapChat and LinkedIn to share your charitable actions and inspire and motivate your social networks to do the same.

6) Start your own charity – Is there an issue you care about that isn’t getting nearly the attention and help it deserves? Why not set up your own charity to support it? can help you figure out how to get started here.

7) Be charitable to others in your day-to-day life – Help someone cross the street. Say thank you to people who provide you with a service. Resist the urge to jump to uncharitable conclusions. Be patient. Practice random acts of kindness. It costs nothing to be nice and give people the benefit of the doubt. 


Siyus Copetallus
Siyus Copetallus2 years ago

Thank you for sharing.

Wendi M.
Wendi M2 years ago


Randy Q.
Past Member 2 years ago

Thank you!

heather g.
heather g2 years ago

There seems to be a very high proportion of people in Canada who are poorly paid. Even those holding down two jobs, often need charity. At the same time, I don't know how anything would run efficiently without the huge number of volunteers. The gap between the rich and the poor is no nearer to resolution - it just gets more noticeable....

Margie FOURIE2 years ago

Thank you

william Miller
william Miller2 years ago


Marilyn M.
Marilyn M2 years ago

Thank you.

Pablo B.
.2 years ago

every day?

Houston W.
Houston W2 years ago

Animals are one of the most oppressed. In honor of this day, please donate here to help them :)

Brett Cloud
Brett Cloud2 years ago