By Mario McKellop

Aug. 19 marks the sixth anniversary of World Humanitarian Day (WHD). The international observance was created in 2009 by the United Nations General Assembly to recognize the sacrifices made by those who have lost their lives in pursuit of furthering humanitarian causes. Its purpose is to raise awareness of the plight the millions of people who are suffering as the result of various natural and man-made disasters. Clevelanders who wish to celebrate WHD by making a difference locally or internationally have a few different options.

Donate To UNICEF

When a humanitarian crisis occurs, it hits children the hardest. In addition to having their lives destabilized by armed conflicts, industrial accidents or natural disasters, kids also have to deal with the added emotional stress of not understanding why everything around them is in chaos. For the last 70 years, the United Nations Children’s Fund program has strived to ameliorate the suffering of children caught in the middle of a catastrophe. You can celebrate WHD by aiding UNICEF in carrying out their vital mission by making a donation here.

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Help Enrich The Community With Global Cleveland
200 Public Square, Suite 150
Cleveland, OH 44114
(216) 472-3282

Cleveland has become one of America’s greatest cities due to the contributions of immigrants from all over the globe in the 19th and 20th centuries. The nonprofit organization Global Cleveland works to continue that tradition in this century. Its mission statement is to turn Cleveland into a worldwide hub of innovation by attracting and settling immigrants into the community. Locals can help immigrants acclimate to the CLE by volunteering to introduce them to the area and helping them find local jobs.

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Fight Poverty With The United Way Of Greater Cleveland
1331 Euclid Ave.
Cleveland, OH 44115
(216) 436-2100

According to the US Census Bureau, the child poverty rate in Cleveland is 53.2 percent. While the nature of this particular crisis is complex, the United Way of Greater Cleveland has had success in effecting positive change in this area. They’ve succeeded in providing thousands of local kids with the safety, health care, education and financial support they need to thrive. Those wishing to fight Cleveland’s severe child poverty problem can do so by donating money, advocating for change and volunteering their time and energy.

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Help Save Lives With MedWish International
17325 Euclid Ave.
Cleveland, OH 44112
(216) 692-1685

Since 1993, MedWish International has endeavored to protect the environment and save lives by repurposing scrapped medical equipment. The organization collects surplus medical supplies from more than 100 US hospitals that would otherwise be directed to landfills across the country. MedWish then sorts these supplies, repackages and distributes them to those in need across the planet. In 2016 alone, MedWish sent out 158 shipments of life-saving medical supplies. Although volunteers with medical experience are ideal, anyone can contribute to MedWish’s lifesaving efforts.

Combat Hunger With Greater Cleveland Food Bank
15500 South Waterloo Road
Cleveland, OH 44110
(216) 738-2265

One-in-six Northeast Ohioans struggled with food insecurity in 2015. That means that more than 312,560 had to deal with the harrowing experience of not knowing where their next meal was coming from. Thankfully, organizations like the Greater Cleveland Food Bank (GCFB) exist to address this serious issue. In 2016, the GCFB distributed more than 60 million tons of food to families in need. If you want to help them top that impressive achievement in 2017 by soliciting, collecting, sorting and distributing food, register to volunteer here.