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Folks who live comfortably sometimes find it easy to forget that there are children all over the world who could use a helping hand. UNICEF has been working all over the world for over 75 years to aid, protect, advocate for and provide resources for children in need. Whether affected by food shortages, lack of water and sanitation facilities, improper nutrition, lack of medical care or inadequate educational opportunities, UNICEF is dedicated to helping children who are at-risk. 

UNICEF Day for Change offers a distinct opportunity to raise awareness and make a positive impact on the lives of children in need.

History of UNICEF Day for Change

Getting its start as a temporary agency of the United Nations following World War II, UNICEF (the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund) was originally meant to only act with emergency care in mind. But after less than a decade, the folks at the UN realized that this group was vital with its dedication to advocating for and assisting children with health, nutrition, sanitation, safe water, education and other basic needs. So, in 1954, the name was changed to the United Nations Children’s Fund, but the acronym UNICEF is still often used.

From disaster preparedness to disease prevention vaccine programs, UNICEF is always at the ready to offer assistance, aid and resources. In fact, the organization has its largest warehouse in the world in Copenhagen, filled with important disaster relief supplies just ready to send out to any point in the globe with arrival in just 2 to 4 days.

Throughout the calendar year, UNICEF uses different opportunities and events to raise awareness for the needs of children all over the world, in addition to taking donations toward the cause. UNICEF Day for Change is one of many promotions in the UK that encourages folks to make a difference in the life of a child.

In the case of Day for a Change, the idea is that people can collect the spare change from their pockets for several months at a time. When it is collected together and donated, this spare change can be combined with the spare change of many others – adding up to many thousands of pounds or dollars that can be used on behalf of children.

This is a great project to get children connected with, teaching them to share with others who have a need and helping them learn to be thankful for what they do have. Individuals, families, groups and organizations can all get involved with the UNICEF Day for Change by collecting their pennies or larger coins, which can make a huge impact on the lives of children throughout the world.

UNICEF Day for Change Timeline


UNICEF is established 

The United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund is started as a temporary measure in the aftermath of World War II.[1]


UNICEF becomes permanent 

The UN votes to make UNICEF permanent and removes the words “International” and “Emergency”, but keeps the same acronym.


UNICEF World Children’s Day is first celebrated 

This day, also called Universal Children’s Day, is established by UNICEF to promote children’s welfare worldwide.


UNICEF is awarded Nobel Peace Prize 

The organization is awarded the Nobel Prize for their activities in promoting “brotherhood among the nations”.[2]


Convention on the Rights of the Child 

The United Nations makes this agreement to protect children.[3]

How to Celebrate UNICEF Day for Change

Wondering about ways to participate in various activities and events in celebration of the UNICEF Day for Change? Have loads of fun, do something good to make the world a better place, and enjoy the day by getting started with some of these ideas:

Learn More About UNICEF 

One super way to get involved with the UNICEF Day for Change might be to show some love by learning a bit more about this organization and the different ways it is possible to get connected and show support. First, gain some knowledge about the organization here or through other research on the official UNICEF website. Then, don’t forget to share with friends and coworkers, or post on social media to let more folks know about this important cause!

Check out some of these interesting facts about UNICEF to get moving in the right direction:

  • UNICEF is passionate about a number of important social issues, such as immunizations, HIV/AIDS, nutrition, child soldiers, and WASH (WAter, Sanitation, and Hygiene).

  • The overarching goal of UNICEF is to reach equality throughout the world, particularly for children affected by hunger, war and illness so that they cannot attend school.

  • UNICEF is particularly invested in making sure that girls are able to receive education, especially in countries where they are often discriminated against based on gender.

  • 80% of the funds used by UNICEF are set aside to address public health issues that impact the world, with projects like supplying mosquito nets, administering necessary vaccinations, and providing drugs for curable diseases like malaria.

Host a UNICEF Day for Change Event

Business owners, school teachers, seniors, group workers and others can all get involved with the UNICEF Day for Change by hosting a gathering, party or event in honor of the day. The best way to do this is to have a kickoff event, perhaps six months in advance, where people are invited to learn more about UNICEF and then encouraged to save up their change over the next several months. Invite some local small businesses to make donations such as refreshments or items that can be included in a charity raffle.

Then, in honor of the Day for a Change, allow people to bring their change to a donation center to see how fast it adds up. Be sure to keep people apprised on how much the community was able to collect on behalf of the children – which can easily be done through a Facebook group or other social media outlets. From earthquakes to wars, from famines to droughts, people in the local community can feel good about the way they worked together to assist families and children in difficult situations.

Make a Difference for a Child

While it is true that UNICEF is a superb organization that helps children all over the globe, perhaps another good way to celebrate Day for Change would be to consider making the difference in the life of a child who lives locally. This might mean volunteering to tutor a child in an after school program, signing up to be a Big Brother or Big Sister, join a local mentoring program or becoming a volunteer coach for a youth sports team. Any quality time that kids can spend with adults who are interested in their lives will show that they care and make a big impact on them for the future! 

UNICEF Day for Change FAQs

What is UNICEF?

UNICEF works in at least 190 countries to advocate for children, defend their rights and provide them with aid.[1]

What is the United Nations?

The UN is an intergovernmental organization that works to maintain peace, security, cooperation, friendly relations and more between nations.[2]

What does UNICEF stand for?

UNICEF stands for the United Nations Children’s Fund.

What does UNICEF do?

UNICEF helps disadvantaged children with medical care, vaccines, nutrition, education, safe water, protection from violence and much more.[3]

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