There are few things more rewarding than giving back. In our family volunteering and helping others is a high priority. In an effort to help you get involved in this year’s International Day of Charity, we are highlighting some of the charities we have had the honor of working with.  

Over the years I have had the opportunity to volunteer with my kids, support organizations from afar, and host charity events. Any day is a good day to give back, but one of the best days is International Charity Day. Here’s everything you need to know to participate and a list of some of my favorite organizations.

When is the International Day of Charity?

Back in 2012, the United Nations declared September 5 as the International Day of Charity.  They choose September 5  to commemorate the anniversary of the of Mother Teresa’s death, Nobel Peace Prize winner in 1979 “for work undertaken in the struggle to overcome poverty and distress, which also constitute a threat to peace.”

What is the purpose of International Day of Charity?

The purpose of International Day of Charity is raising awareness and encouraging others to join in acts of service whether on a small or large scale. 

How can you participate in International Day of Charity?

It’s easy to participate! You can donate money or items to a local charity such as a food bank. You can volunteer to work for an organization either somewhere near you like a soup kitchen or even when you are on vacation.

Charities you can donate to:

Toto Care Box

Toto Care Box

Toto Care BoxToto Care Box is one of my favorite charities. They exist to protect, preserve and promote the health and well-being of newborns in their first 28 days of life. A small $33 donation provides a pregnant mother in Kenya with education and a Toto Care Box. Inside the box they receive items they will need, including a Treated Mosquito Net, DTS-Z kit to aid in dealing with gastroenteritis & dehydration, Aqua guard to ensure access to clean water, & more. The box also converts into a bed, complete with mattress and blanket. It can be a bit difficult to donate to this organization so I partnered with my friend at the Tin Roof Society to simplify the process. You can donate here.

Wakami GlobalWakami Global is an ethical lifestyle brand that creates jobs for poverty areas. Most of their handmade accessories are created by women living in rural Guatemala. These products provide jobs to women who typically would not have the opportunity to support their families. All the bracelets Eden and I are wearing pictured below are handmade by the Wakami women in Guatemala. This is a super simple way to help women in Guatemala. Use Code: MOMMYTRAVELS at checkout to save 10% off your order.

Wakami Global

Eden and I wearing our Wakami Global bracelets. | Photo by Meagan Wristen

Open Arms International Open Arms International exists to provide HOPE to Kenyan children who have been abandoned or orphaned by providing safe homes, education, and community development. You can send a Bee Well kit with vitamins, socks, and other necessities to a child in need or donate supplies to fill the kits. There are opportunities to volunteer year-round or for special events, or even visit the Open Arms Village as part of an outreach team. You can also simply make a one-time or recurring donation or even non-cash options to support these initiatives.

Open Arms

Open Arms Village

Organizations that need volunteers:

STEM Like a Girl STEM Like a Girl aims to inspire girls to develop interest and confidence in STEM through hands-on activities, parent engagement, and positive female role models. The goal is to use a combination of girls, parents, and mentors to build confidence in young girls which could lead to a future in STEM (Science Technology Engineering Math) related fields. Exposure to activities and mentors at a young age can break the barriers that typically hold young girls back from developing an interest in science and engineering. Girls in grades 4-6 can attend a workshop with their parent (or adult caregiver) where they have hands-on activities, learn about the design process, and are also taught how failure can be a good thing. Scholarships are available and you can donate to support low-income families.

Zonta– Zonta International is a worldwide service organization with a mission to empower women by advancing women through service, grants, and scholastic awards. Local clubs perform hands-on service and raise funds, with many helping local domestic violence shelters, advocating for women’s issues and encouraging young women and girls to participate in leadership opportunities. An ongoing project of Zonta International is the “Zonta Says No” campaign to end violence against women. 


2D4D Event

2D4D – 2D4D is a local community based program in Portland, Oregon sponsored by Fractured Atlas. 2D4D aims to support and advocate for artists and arts-leaders working in the 2D (2-dimensional) and 4D (4-dimensional/time-based) fields. The organization provides low cost classes, workshops and events to the local region, encouraging diversity and creative expression. Participating in one of the community based events enables you to see the artists in action and participate in the activity hands-on. You can donate to 2D4D or join a community event and donate on-site.

There are so many wonderful organizations all around the world supporting a variety of different causes. This list could easily go on. Make a difference this year on the International Day of Charity and donate your hands on services or monetary donations. If not the International Day of Charity, any day is a good day to give back to the world and to the people around you. A little goes a long way.