Mother Teresa and the History of the International Day of Charity

Submitted by Tiffany Luu, Development Manager

The name ‘Mother Teresa’ triggers thoughts of a historical and influential woman who was known for helping the poor. In two words, she was selfless and giving.

In 2012, the United Nations declared September 5th International Day of Charity. This day was set aside to honor Mother Teresa and commemorate the day of her death.

At 18 years old, Mother Teresa found her calling to be a missionary. Her work began in India, serving the poorest of the poor, especially caring for the sick. Later, she would form a group called the Missionaries of Charity where she established a home for those without the basic necessities in life, quarantine housing for those with Leprosy, an orphanage, a nursing home, and many health clinics. Her charity expanded into the United States in New York City, where she built a home to care for those infected with HIV/AIDS.

Her legacy is led by compassion and empathy to care for the unwanted, the unloved and the uncared for, and paved the way for thousands of organizations around the world serving based on these very same principals.

Organizations like Esperança.

Esperança is a small but mighty global health charity, celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2020 because of friends like you who, like Mother Teresa, want to make a difference in this world. You make an impact when you devote your precious time to volunteer, or by donating medical supplies or funds. No matter how much you donate, a dollar is invaluable in other countries. A wheelchair that was once collecting dust is now in use, replacing a plastic lawn chair with taped-on wheels.

On International Day of Charity, think of how you can get involved with your favorite charities! At Esperança, there are many ways you can help:

  • Be an Ambassador! Help Esperança in spreading the word of our work by referring us to your family, friends and network by hosting a one-hour informational session.
  • Serve as a Community Health Educator – support Esperança’s Phoenix health education program for underserved children and adults.
  • Inventory donated medical supplies at Esperança’s warehouse by becoming a Donation Intake Volunteer.
  • Host a donation drive to collect hygiene or school supplies.
  • Volunteer your skills and expertise by serving on the Board of Directors or a volunteer surgical team to provide life-changing surgeries.
  • Become a sustaining giver

{You can learn about these opportunities and more by visiting our website}

Mayo Clinic MERG packs Smile Bags for Esperança's oral health classes.

Mother Teresa’s unwavering commitment to help those in the most need, like the communities Esperança serves in Arizona and abroad, established her as one of the greatest humanitarians in the world. We are all humanitarians in some shape or form.

Take this day to remind yourself that simple acts of kindness, such as your involvement with a charity, no matter how much you can contribute or if you choose to contribute through volunteerism, you stand with Esperança to make lasting change in the world.

Happy International Day of Charity!

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