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International Day Of Charity Honors Mother Teresa, Urges Us To Spread Kindness And Love

09/05/2013 01:46 pm ET
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The inaugural International Day of Charity aims to pay tribute to one of the greatest humanitarians in the history books: Mother Teresa.

The UN is urging people on Sept. 5 to donate, volunteer or spread acts of kindness on the first ever commemoration day of its kind, coinciding with the anniversary of the death of Mother Teresa.

"Charity sometimes gets dismissed, as if it is ineffective, inappropriate or even somehow demeaning to the recipient,” UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said in a message. “Let us recognize charity for what it is at heart: a noble enterprise aimed at bettering the human condition.”

Ban said the date was chosen to honor Mother Teresa, who won a Nobel Prize in 1979 for her on-the-ground work helping disadvantaged people across the globe, which continues to serve as inspiration today.

Mother Teresa, who died on September 5, 1997, started a slum school in India and founded her own order, "The Missionaries of Charity," among many other notable humanitarian efforts. Her lasting legacy leaves us with memorable quotes such as "Not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love.”

The UN urges people to take measures Thursday such as organizing a campaign related to a cause or sharing your good works using #charityday on social media.

Leaders from the United Nations Foundation, charity: water, WaterAid, the Foundation Center and other nonprofits are holding discussions on charity's role in alleviating poverty and creating equity and access to basic needs worldwide. Learn more here.

Tell us: How are you giving back today? Let us know in the comments below or by tweeting @HuffPostImpact with #charityday.

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