Celebrate the International Day of Charity by giving!

A force for good

Charities are a powerful force for good in the world today. They facilitate the charitable urge that grips us when we see or hear about tragedy and need and channel it into an effective force for change. That compassionate instinct to reach out and help those we see suffering around us is one of humanity’s most beautiful traits. That’s why it comes as no surprise to me that back in 2012 the UN passed a resolution to recognise an international day of charity.

Too much to take

Tomorrow is that day, September the 5th. The resolution passed by the UN encourages member states to,
“commemorate the International Day of Charity in an appropriate manner, by encouraging charity, including through education and public awareness-raising activities”.
Of course it would be desirable to practise charitable giving all through the year and not just when prompted by a reminder like this, but in practice, today we’re bombarded by so many different needs, (in the streets, on the news and especially via social media) that unfortunately we often become desensitized to their tragedy and inclined to walk on by or keep on scrolling. Of course we feel sorry for those affected, but if it doesn’t impact us or someone close to us directly, we’re unlikely to get our wallets out.

Giving by technology

I’d like to take this opportunity therefore, to encourage you to make a charitable donation today. There are opportunities to give all around us. High street charity shops and people with buckets and flip pads trying to stop you as you walk through town might be your first thought, but modern day giving is actually very often done via technology. Whether you want to make a one off donation or become a regular giver to some sort of cause, most charities today have recognised the fact that much of our giving is done by means of a site or app and are keen to facilitate us.

Who should I give to?

There are a lot of worthwhile causes out there; the news headlines at the moment instantly lead me to search for charities working with refugees from the Syria conflict. Other charities might not be so topical, but still their ongoing service depends in most cases on the generosity of people like you. Here are two charities that we’ve made websites for, both of which tirelessly serve their communities and would make worthwhile recipients if you’re trying to decide where best to direct resources:

 FARA: Working with some of Romania’s most vulnerable and neglected children and young people, since 1991 FARA have been running a range of different projects from family homes for orphans through to residential training centres where disadvantaged young adults can learn invaluable skills to help them find employment. With their mission to: transform the lives of some of Romania’s poorest and most vulnerable children and young people, FARA’s work has made a discernable difference in many lives over the years. At the moment they have a specific appeal campaign for 2015, raising money to make a visible impact against the appalling poverty found in the village of Bahna Arini.

Green Pastures: Based in the UK, Green Pastures describe themselves as a Christian Social Enterprise that provides homes for the homeless. I practice this means that they co-operate with partners all across the UK to find people to serve by buying them a home. Those partners then continue to maintain contact with and support for the people they house, while Green Pastures provides support for a whole network of such partners. Green Pastures are seeking a wide range of different types of givers. Whether you want to donate time or money, small or large amounts, by mail, text or online, giving can be done in any way convenient for you. In addition, they also seek people who are willing to invest larger sums in homes for the homeless, and with interest rates of up to 5%, such investments are not only ethical, but profitable too!

Do it now, tell a friend

Whoever you choose to give to, do it now while you’re still thinking about it! Your donation might well transform someone’s life! When you’ve done it, talk to someone else about it too, maybe your example will lead them to give something as well. If this article has inspired you to consider making a charitable gift, why don’t you share this on your social media account too and together we can commemorate the International Day of Charity in the spirit in which it’s intended.

Do you have a favourite charity? Tell us about them in the comments below.