This most generous of holidays was founded to promote and celebrate giving in all its forms.The festival is also a grassroots movement to praise and encourage kindness wherever it occurs. The aim of the celebration is actually twofold – to raise awareness of the importance of philanthropy, and encourage those not already involved to throw themselves into volunteer and charity work, and to acknowledge the efforts of those who already work to help their fellow humans, and deserve to be celebrated. Nobody has to be a philanthropist, but many choose to be, and make a world of difference in the world.
History of Philanthropy Day
The concept was originally thought up and then organized by Douglas Freeman in the 1980s. The first National Philanthropy Day awards luncheon was held in cities across the country in 1986, after President Ronald Reagan proclaimed November 15 as National Philanthropy Day. President Ronald Reagan was the first world leader to declare an official Philanthropy Day, to celebrate ‘the love of humankind’. Every year since then, communities across the globe have celebrated by hosting events to recognize activities of donors, volunteers, foundations, leaders, corporations, and others engaged in philanthropy.
How to celebrate National Philanthropy Day
There is no one correct way to celebrate National Philanthropy Day, as everyone helps people indifferent ways. Bill Gates for one seems to have been celebrating this holiday every day of his life for the past few years, since the creation of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation in 2000. However, most people in the world are not nearly as vastly wealthy as Bill Gates, Warren Buffet or the like, and therefore can find other, smaller ways to help others–even small donation or kind gesture on our part can mean the world to someone who is, for example, suffering from a serious illness in poverty.
There are many ways to participate in the celebration of this great holiday, and as with Bill Gates, it is best when we do not help others only one day a year. Philanthropy means the act of loving humankind, and everyone knows that love can be expressed in a number of ways. So, find a charity with a cause you care deeply about, be it one that feeds hungry children, or one that helps people suffering from a certain disease.
Maybe someone in your family was taken too young by a sickness you would like to see defeated once and for all? Or maybe you feel that there is not enough awareness about LGBT youth’s struggles with bullying in schools and just want other people to notice the problem and take it seriously?
No matter whether your gesture is helping to collect food for Christmas packages for the poor. Collecting money to help feed the ever-increasing number of animals in animal shelters. Raising money for extra new books to be bought at your local public school, or just spending a little time every now and the with elderly people in nursing homes who do not have any relatives to keep them company.
You can be certain that your gesture will be appreciated greatly by those you help. Even if your actions or the sum of money you donate doesn’t seem like that big of a deal to you. Any way you decide to do it, celebrate by helping others and making a difference!