By Deirdre Haggerty

World Humanitarian Day celebrates its 9th anniversary on August 19. The UN General Assembly dedicated the day to coincide with the horrific terrorist attack on UN headquarters in Baghdad in 2003. The day honors those who have lost their lives in humanitarian service and the aide workers who continue the efforts. This year’s theme, #NotATarget: Protection of Civilians, “advocates the protection of civilians (PoC), aid workers and all those affected by conflict.” World Humanitarian Day events are held globally, including New York City. To learn how to volunteer, read the recommendations below. Visit the UN website daily for updates on events happening in New York on August 19 such as the annual wreath laying ceremony and more.

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Project Hope
PO Box 5029
Hagerstown, MD 21741-5029
(844) 349-0188

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To be a humanitarian simply means you are vested in the promotion of human welfare. For some, volunteering for World Humanitarian Day is an annual event and for others it’s a daily struggle to assist in the health of humans worldwide. Founded in 1958, Project Hope’s mission as the “People-to-People Health Foundation” addresses the greatest global public health challenges. If you are professional health care worker or possess a skill unique to serve Project Hope, search, register and apply on the organization’s website.

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American Red Cross In Greater New York
520 W. 49th St.
New York, NY, 10019
Phone: (877) 733-2767

Be a part of World Humanitarian locally with the American Red Cross in Greater New York. Find a local chapter nearest you and host a blood drive, involve your office or organize an event in your school. You can donate, volunteer or take a class. The American Red Cross offers disaster relief assistance within your community or abroad. The organization is a great way to be involved one time to commemorate the event or be a humanitarian year-round.

Impossible Choices

In 2016, 112 world leaders were tweeted during World Humanitarian Day. If you cannot donate funds or give your time to volunteer, take a few moments to tweet #NotATarget: Protection of Civilians to the leader of your country, governor of your state representative or senator. Through Impossible Choices you can use social media to voice your concerns and demand action, donate to the UN’s Emergency Response Fund and Start Impossible Choices, a humanitarian challenge that utilizes your Facebook profile and discover how you would survive in a crisis!

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World Health Organization (WHO)
Regional Office for the Americas of the World Health Organization
525 23rd St. N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20037
(202) 974-3000

The World Health Organization “directs and coordinates international health within the United Nations’ system.” WHO is in more than 150 countries helping governments “to attain their health objectives and support their national health policies and strategies.” Professionals looking to expand their careers with the World Health Organization can apply on the WHO site or email Click here to learn how you can donate to WHO’s Humanitarian Health Action.