Remembering the most generous personalities on ‘World Charity Day
In December 2012, United Nations decided to declare September 5 as the International Day of Charity, on the occasion of Mother Teresa’s death anniversary, one of the biggest philanthropists of our times.
In connection with the day, numerous charity events and awareness activities are organized around the world by various volunteering, philanthropic and charity organizations.
To mark the occasion, we are listing few of the world’s most generous personalities, who have set a benchmark in philanthropy and charity through their remarkable services:
Mother Teresa was the founder of the Order of the Missionaries of Charity, a Roman Catholic congregation of women dedicated to helping the poor.
There, she convinced the government to donate a dilapidated building to aid her cause of establishing a home for the dying destitute. In October 1950, she won canonical recognition for a new congregation, the Missionaries of Charity, which she founded with only a handful of members—most of them former teachers or pupils from St. Mary's School.
As the ranks of her congregation swelled and donations poured in from around the globe, the scope of Mother Teresa's charitable activities broadened. Over the course of the 1950s and 1960s, she established a leper colony, an orphanage, a nursing home, a family clinic and a string of mobile health clinics.In 1971, Mother Teresa traveled to New York City to open her first American-based house of charity. In the summer of 1982, she secretly went to Beirut, Lebanon, where she crossed between Christian East Beirut and Muslim West Beirut to aid children of both faiths. After returning in 1985, she set up a home to care for people infected with HIV/AIDS known as the Gift of Love.
Abdul Sattar Edhi
Abdul Sattar Edhi established a sprawling network of the medical centre, mortuaries, adoption and ambulance services serving Pakistan’s poor and destitute, as well as refuges for homeless men, women and children. Such services are vital in a country with effectively no state social welfare apparatus. The Edhi foundation also actively extends its help to suffering people across the globe.
Mr. Edhi was passionate about alleviating the poverty and suffering he saw around him, his wife says. He began his social work career equipped with an old van he used to pick up the bloated abandoned bodies of drug addicts and the homeless on the street before preparing them for burial and today they have hundreds of Edhi centers across country.
Oprah has been engaged in numerous philanthropic activities, including the creation of Oprah’s Angel Network, which sponsors charitable initiatives worldwide. In 2007 she opened a $40 million school for disadvantaged girls in South Africa and has always been considered a crusader fighting for disabled and abused people.
In 2010 she was named a Kennedy Center honoree, and the following year she received the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2013.
Fittingly, the richest man on the planet is also the most generous, and has made around $27 billion worth of donations throughout his lifetime. Much of Bill Gates’ charity work takes place through the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which spends a lot of time and money aiding children around the world.
One of the most well-known philanthropists in the world, Warren Buffett also works closely with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Having donated over $21 billion dollars to various causes himself, the CEO and chairman of Berkshire Hathaway has also started The Giving Pledge to encourage other rich families into philanthropy.
Sulaiman bin Abdulaziz Al Rajhi
The Saudi Arabian billionaire amassed his fortune in banking, founding the Al Rajhi bank with his three brothers. In 2011, Al Rajhi decided to donate the majority of his $7.7 billion fortune, having given away $5.7 billion since then.