How to Celebrate International Day of Charity

The 8th annual International Day of Charity is upon us (September 5th). The intention of this occasion is as it sounds, but allow us to share the United Nation’s definition:

“The International Day of Charity was established with the objective of sensitizing and mobilizing people, NGOs, and stakeholders all around the world to to help others through volunteer and philanthropic activities.”

It might not take any convincing to get households to recognize this special day, but you may be wondering how you can honor the event in a fun manner that teaches your kids about the spirit of philanthropy. You’ve come to the right place!

Great Ways Canadian Households Can Recognize the International Day of Charity in 2020 and Beyond

Start a Community Charity Drive

The theme of this year’s International Day of Charity is “Global Solidarity to Eradicate Poverty”. Solidarity is needed now more than ever, which makes this year’s theme a great jump-off concept for your own household. Of course, global solidarity may be a little out of your hands, but you can certainly bring your community together to do some collective good. The funds collected from a community charity drive can be donated to a non-profit organization who will put it to good use. 

How can one household start a community charity drive on relatively short notice? It’s easier than you think! 

One great way to secure funds for donation is to organize a neighborhood yard/garage sale. If there is a common area in your neighborhood (or residential complex) then participating households can bring their wares there. However, given the need for physical distancing in 2020 this may be a challenge in some areas. In this case, each household can use their own yard or driveway, with an understanding that the respective proceeds will go to a previously agreed upon cause. 

To get started, you can simply make a few phone calls and send emails to neighbors and get them to spread the word. Even if half of the households along your cul-de-sac, avenue, or suburban boulevard come on board you’ll create quite the scene for bargain shoppers and treasure hunters to flock to. Get your children and the neighborhood kids to make colorful eye-catching signs, blow-up balloons, and post them up around the community in the days leading up to the big sale. Upon conclusion, you and/or another party can collect the funds from each household and donate them to a specified charitable organization

Need help finding an organization that will ensure your charity drive funds go to a great cause? Look no further than the Plant a Seed & See What Grows Foundation. Our funded programs provide a channel for your collected funds to reach children in need across Canada. 

Organize a Fun (and Daring!) Pledge Challenge

Another way to get your community to step-up to the plate for a good cause is to organize a fun pledge challenge. Remember the ALS ice-bucket challenge from 2014? That’s a perfect example of how you can get friends, family, coworkers, teachers, and neighbors to take on a daring (and even embarrassing) challenge as a means to get pledges to put towards charity. 

As grownups we may be limited in ideas, suggesting walkathons (yawn) and the like, so look for inspiration elsewhere – namely the kids! They will come up with some wild and wacky ways to challenge participants. Keep in mind that the more “out there” these ideas are the more likely the event/s will get picked up by local area news and go semi-viral on social media. We polled a some of the younger friends of the Foundation and have come up with a few outdoor ideas to get you started:

  • Outdoor dance-a-thon at a local park – See which individuals and couples have the best moves and/or can last the longest!
  • Community swimming pool cannonball challenge – The biggest splash wins!
  • Outdoor karaoke – Pick a highly visible public place (i.e. local park) and as many tone-deaf singers involved as possible!
  • Hotdog eating contest – Want a healthier alternative? Consider broccoli, brussels sprouts, or radishes!

Once the fundraising fun is done you can take what you’ve collected and distribute it to organizations that you trust to do good in the community – such as the Plant a Seed & See What Grows Foundation. And remember, while International Day of Charity may be a one-day affair, your help is needed through all 365 days of the year. Learn more about how you can donate to one or more of our worthy causes.