There could be no better time to recognise and celebrate the enormous value that charities, civil society organisations and volunteers have brought to the world over the past year during the pandemic, charities and community groups are integral to the healthy functioning of our society.
International Day of Charity seeks to enhance social responsibility and increase public support of charitable causes.
Despite the difficulties of people losing their jobs, having to stay home/stay local, many people have continued to support charities and indeed many have increased their giving. Soroptimists, like many people in the community have supported women’s refuges, food banks and have taken to sewing to make masks and ‘scrubs’ for health care providers.
International Day of Charity is celebrated on 5th September. It was introduced by the United Nations in 2012, in recognition of the role of charity in alleviating humanitarian crises and human suffering. The day 5th September was chosen to commemorate the passing of Mother Teresa who died in 1997. She was known for her dedication to charitable work and gave her life to helping others and overcoming poverty, suffering and distress
The aim of the International Day of Charity is to raise awareness and give a platform to charity activities around the world by individuals and volunteer organisations at local, national and international levels.
There are few more impactful ways to support a cause that is important to you than donating funds. With your money, the charity of your choice can make great strides towards their goals. Money isn’t the only thing charities can use and donating your time can be equally rewarding.
Having the power to improve the lives of others is, to many people, a privilege, and one that comes with its own sense of obligation. Acting on these powerful feelings of responsibility is a great way to reinforce our own personal values and feel like we’re living in a way that is true to our own ethical beliefs.
I joined Soroptimists because Soroptimists:
- work with women and girls – you can’t fight poverty without fighting inequality.
- work alongside communities – change only happens when people are empowered to lead, participate and act.
- aim to be a catalyst for change, supporting women, girls and families to gain control of their own futures.
With all that is currently happening in the world, working together with other charities we can save lives, fight poverty, and achieve social justice. Working to achieve the sustainable development goals and all that they encompass including social justice, humanitarian issues and environmental issues is vitally important.
Perhaps on this International Day of Charity it would be a good time for all Soroptimist clubs to consider supporting micro-finance credit schemes such as Lendwithcare and KIVA to which SIGBI donates currently.
A Persian poem written by Saadi at the entrance to the UN building in New York:
Human beings are members of a whole,
In creation of one essence and soul.
If one member is afflicted with pain,
Other members uneasy will remain.
If you’ve no sympathy for human pain,
The name of human you cannot retain.