International Day of Charity

University student Caitlin Simmonds recently volunteered with the Build It UK team. We asked Caitlin to pen a few words in celebration of International Day of Charity:

“The 5th of September has been formally recognised as International Day of Charity by the United Nations.

This date was chosen as it marks the anniversary of Mother Teresa’s death, a woman who placed endless amounts of effort into eradicating poverty from the world’s poorest regions.

While the rest of us may feel our charitable efforts have been insignificant in comparison to hers, we must remember that this day hasn’t been created with the sole purpose of celebrating the philanthropic achievements of a few.

Instead it is meant to encourage more people to get involved with charities to help fulfil the United Nation’s 2030 agenda of eradicating global poverty.

It is at this point that young people can step in to help make a difference.

Being somewhere between a Millennial and a Gen Z (depending on which definition you go with!) and having just finished work experience with Build It, I have witnessed first-hand how young people can help assist charities in achieving their goals.

We can offer our views and insights on current global affairs, and our skills and knowledge on areas like social media can help charities move forward in a time when traditional marketing methods are becoming less efficient.

Fresh energy and enthusiasm brought by young people wanting to make a difference to a specific cause can help inspire charities to produce new waves of innovative thinking.

While statistics suggest that 16-24 year olds might be the least inclined age group to contribute financially towards charitable causes, our eagerness to participate has been recognised in other ways.

Specifically, the increasing levels of young people committed to volunteering over the past few years demonstrates to me that our generation is both willing and able to assist charities in achieving their goals.

Upon reflection of this and my own experience of working with Build It, I would ultimately encourage any young person on this globally celebrated day to get involved in helping these organisations.

It all helps in making steps towards the UN’s goal of eradicating worldwide poverty and will provide you with a unique experience that is highly rewarding.”