Today is the International Day of Charity as declared by the United Nations General Assembly. Why today? September 5 is also the anniversary of the death of Mother Theresa, one of the most giving people to have graced this earth and someone who truly embodied the essence of charity.
What I found most interesting about the International Day of Charity is that this is its first year. In a world where there seems to be an official day for everything including Bubble Wrap Appreciation Day, National Chicken Dance Day and Jelly Bean Day to name a few, how did we overlook something so important to mankind – charity?
Yesterday, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon helped explain what the day is all about in a special message:
“Charity plays an important role in upholding the values and advancing the work of the United Nations. Donations of time or money; volunteer engagement in one's own community or on the other side of the world; acts of caring and kindness with no thought of recompense; these and other expressions of global solidarity help us in our shared quest to live together in harmony and build a peaceful future for all.”
There is so much in those 2 short but powerful lines that I would urge you read them again and reflect for a moment about what charity really is. Sometimes charity is writing a cheque but as Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon so beautifully wrote above, it’s also about “volunteer engagement… and acts of caring and kindness with no thought of recompense…”. Have you stumbled upon the term and organization “Suspended Coffees” yet? Both celebrate the idea of charity as “acts of kindness with no thought of recompense”. Visit this Facebook page, you’ll be truly amazed by what you’ll find. I was.
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon closed his message by calling on “…people everywhere, of all ages, to act on the charitable impulse that resides in every human being.” At Elua, we’ve chosen to act on our charitable impulses in 2 key ways. We joined the amazing organization 1% for the Planet (#LoveBlue!) and have also chosen to support another charity close to our hearts called charity: water.
By joining 1% for the Planet, Elua has committed to giving 1% of its revenues (not profits) to thousands of vetted, non-profit partners focussed on protecting our shared environment. Now more than ever, we all need to work together to create positive environmental change and protect this wonderfully blue planet that we all love, share and call home.
Imagine a world where every business was a member of 1% for the Planet? According to independent market research company EMarketer, in 2012, B2C (business to consumer) ecommerce sales around the globe topped $1 trillion for the first time. Yes, $1 trillion and yes, ecommerce sales which leaves out all other consumer goods purchased in traditional brick and mortar stores. 1% of $1 trillion is $10 billion! As 1% for the Planet celebrates 10 years and an incredible $100 million dollars raised to date, just imagine what they could do with $10 billion.
By supporting charity: water, Elua has committed to following its social conscience. By reaching our initial goal of $25,000, we will be able to fund a water project at a school in a developing country, serving hundreds of children with clean drinking water while also helping construct much needed latrines. To reach our goal, we’re donating $1 for every “Like” we receive on our new Elua Facebook Fan Page as well as by matching donations made by customers when they purchase a water filtration system from Elua for their home or workplace. In just a few short weeks, we’re proud to have already raised over $500 for our charity: water campaign.
At Elua we believe that a partnership between businesses and consumers such as that created by 1% for the Planet founders Yvon Chouinard, founder of Patagonia, and Craig Mathews, owner of Blue Ribbon Flies is what can make the most difference. When businesses choose to support charities and consumers choose to support charity minded businesses, the momentum can grow into something spectacular, something sustainable for all involved, a tree which can bear fruit forever, through all of the seasons.
Charity comes in all shapes and sizes and this world desperately needs all the help it can get. However you choose to act on your charitable impulses, please remember to keep charitable minded business in mind when given the option. Fittingly enough, Fight Procrastination Day is tomorrow, September 6. Celebrate it by finding a way to act on your charitable impulses whatever they may be.
To learn more about our philosophies and charitable work at Elua, please visit our website http://elua.com/our-philosophy/