By Christina Dagnelli

The calendar is full of holidays and other days of significance. An upcoming day of significance is August 19, World Humanitarian Day. This day acknowledges the workers who put their lives on the line or even on hold on a personal level so they can help someone who is in desperate need due to natural disasters and war. The day is observed by UN members, but is an international event and is also known for short as WHD. Philadelphia doesn’t have any specific events running in honor of this day, however if you ever wanted to get involved with Humanitarian efforts or to celebrate those who are here are the top 5 places and ways to observe Humanitarian Day.

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Sergio Vieria De Mello Foundation
www.sergiovdmfoundation.org

WHD began to continue the work and honor Sergio Vieira De Mello (Secretary General to Iraq) and the 21 colleagues who were all killed at a bombing of the UN building in Baghdad on August 19 2003 while working relentlessly on Humanitarian efforts. Sergio worked for the UN for more than 34 years. The board of this foundation works with numerous countries to aid in humanitarian efforts. The Sergio Vieira De Mello Foundation gives an annual lecture and an award is given to either an individual or organization every 2 years who has done something special to reconcile people in conflict.

Impossible Choices
www.impossiblechoices.org

This organization encourages the use of social media, writing and calling your world leader to demand action. They also have a place to donate funds to the UN’s Emergency Response Fund, and you can sign up with “Messengers for Humanity” to stay involved in different actions and events. The website has stories and information on what it’s like for people who need Humanitarian aid.

International Peace Day
www.peacedayphilly.org

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Perhaps local is where you want to contribute and you wish to be more hands on. Philadelphia is not at the center of Humanitarian day for any events. However they are putting on a week of activities and events near International Peace Day on September 21, 2017. International Peace day is not the same as Humanitarian Day; however it represents what all Humanitarians are seeking, and what the whole day represents. The day is supposed to be a day of “cease fire” and non-violence. Which is something that all citizens can still participate. Many Philly museums will have special exhibits, movie screenings and events for the day. The Penn Museum for example will hold an exhibit called “Cultures in the Crossfire” stories from Syria and Iraq.

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Global Philadelphia
www.globalphiladelphia.org

Global Philly was created to encourage and help foster more interaction with the local people and international groups and events. They have a purpose to create more “international consciousness” in the region. Anyone can become a member, including organizations, foundations and government agencies. There will be 180 events from early September 2017 through November 1st including a variety of interests from science to sports, arts and education.  Some examples are Mexican Independence Day, Israel- Palestine Study Tour, and Solidarity Day for World Heritage cities. Besides being a participant you can also be a sponsor, intern or volunteer to help during the 45 days these events take place.

Philabundance
3616 Galloway St.
Philadelphia, PA 19148
(215) 339-0900
www.philabundance.org

For humanitarian type aide at home. you have Philabundance. Not having enough to eat happens everywhere, even in Philly. Thankfully Philabundance was created in 1984 to help the hungry in the Philadelphia area. The mission is based on the belief that hard times can happen to anyone. They currently help feed over a million people. Philabundance runs over a half-dozen programs and is very involved with the community with volunteers, employees, donations and cooperative work with other businesses.  Such as many local grocery stores with the group “Grocers against Hunger”.  Since more than 25% of the country’s food gets wasted, there are participating grocers who choose to donate perfectly acceptable food that their guidelines would have them throw away. Philabundance provides refrigerated trucks to pick this food up and redistributes it to those in need.

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