Charity is not just about donating money. Acts of charity can include volunteering and reaching out to others in need. These days, you might think that is more difficult than in “normal” times but there are still a number of ways to contribute and to help others. The United Nations’ International Day of Charity is Saturday, September 5. Here are some tips for observing International Day of Charity during the pandemic.
Helping Others Helps You
When you’re feeling isolated yourself, it may difficult for you to imagine contributing to charity, either with your time or money. However, giving of yourself can actually help you feel better about yourself. Many studies have shown that acts of kindness are linked to increased feelings of well-being. Helping others can also improve your social support networks and encourage you to be more active in your community. That, in turn, can improve your self-esteem.
When you help others, it can promote changes in your brain that are linked to an increased sense of happiness. You feel better about yourself because you have taken the time and energy to have a positive impact on someone else. Likewise, those you help then have a positive motivator to help someone else. Your impact of helping someone else can benefit a whole chain of individuals!
UN’s Day of Charity
September 5 was chosen as the United Nation’s official International Day of Charity to commemorate the day that Mother Teresa died in 1997. The UN emphasizes that charity provides real social bonding and contributes to the creation of inclusive and more resilient societies. Charity can alleviate the worst effects of humanitarian crises, supplement public services in health care, education, housing, and child protection. It also promotes the rights of the marginalized and underprivileged and spreads the message of humanity in challenging situations.
The International Day of Charity was established with the objective of sensitizing and mobilizing people all around the world to help others through volunteer and philanthropic activities. The date honors Mother Teresa of Calcutta, who received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1979 “for work undertaken in the struggle to overcome poverty and distress, which also constitute a threat to peace.”
For over 45 years, Mother Teresa ministered to the poor, sick, orphaned and dying, while guiding the Missionaries of Charity’s expansion, including hospices and homes for the poorest and homeless. Mother Teresa’s work has been recognized and acclaimed throughout the world and she has received a number of awards and distinctions, including the Nobel Peace Prize.
Ways to Contribute During the Pandemic
Of course, the easiest way to observe International Day of Charity during the pandemic is to donate money online to your favorite organization. However, given that many people are struggling financially themselves, there are many other ways to perform acts of charity while staying safe and healthy, including volunteering your time either virtually or in person, with precautions.
Have some time on your hands while you’re staying home during the pandemic? Sort through your closet and see if there are clothes that you don’t (or can’t) wear anymore and are still in good condition. You can donate those clothes to a local homeless shelter or other organization that provides free clothing to its clients.
You can do the same with other usable items around your house that someone in need would be glad to have. Food banks, especially, welcome donations of non-perishable, non-expired food items, particularly during these challenging times.
Volunteer Your Time
Observing International Day of Charity during the pandemic can involve making phone calls to check on other people’s well-being or dropping off meals for those in need. Food banks may need help with making deliveries, which can be done safely by leaving the meal outside the recipient’s door. You can also consider doing a grocery run for someone who is vulnerable and who cannot go to the store now.
Other opportunities include signing up to be a volunteer listener and helping someone who has low vision or who is blind. You know how important it is to have someone that will listen to you. Now you can be that someone for someone else. There are organizations that will train you on reaching out to someone in need so you can be there for them in their isolation. There are also organizations that will connect you to someone who needs help “seeing” certain things in their lives, which can be done safely via video chat.
Contact BRC Recovery for Help During COVID-19
At BRC Recovery, we are here for you during the COVID-19 pandemic. We understand the challenges you may be facing with your mental health and addiction. You may feel isolated, but you are not alone. At BRC Recovery, we continue to support you in your addiction recovery, so you can be safe, healthy, and build the life you’ve always wanted. Please call us at 1-866-291-2676 to learn more about the services we have to offer you to help you in your recovery during COVID-19.