By Troy Petenbrink
Established by the United Nations General Assembly, World Humanitarian Day is observed annually on Aug. 19. It was designed initially to promote awareness and support for international humanitarian aid workers who respond to individuals in need as a result of war and disaster. However, in recent years it has expanded to be a day to support individuals and organizations working for the betterment of all people. Here are five organizations based in Baltimore that are doing important work domestically and internationally that would welcome your support.
Project PLASE, Inc.
3549-3601 Old Frederick Road
Baltimore, MD 21229
According to Project PLASE, Inc. an estimated 4,000 people experience homelessness in Baltimore City each night. It works to end homelessness by providing housing and support services to hundreds of the the city’s homeless each year. You can support the organization by making a financial donation and/or volunteering. Opportunities for volunteerism with Project PLASE range from helping move clients from transitional facilities into permanent house to distributing information at resource fairs for people experiencing homelessness..
The Samaritan Women
602 S Chapel Gate Lane
Baltimore, MD 21229
The Samaritan Women is a Christian organization working to end domestic human trafficking, which occurs all across the U.S. Celebrating its 10th anniversary, the organization offers services to support victims of domestic human trafficking and does extensive outreach to raise awareness of the issue. Individuals donors are a vital source of funding for the organization. In addition, it relies heavily on volunteers to help deliver its services and support its mission.
Catholic Relief Services
228 W. Lexington St.
Baltimore, MD 21201
Operating since 1943, Catholic Relief Services responds to major emergencies, fights disease and poverty, and nurtures peaceful and just societies. During its long history, it has reached more than 120 million people in over 100 countries on five continents. It offers an extensive giving program and short-term and long-term volunteer opportunities.
The International Rescue Committee “responds to the world’s worst humanitarian crises and helps people whose lives and livelihoods are shattered by conflict and disaster to survive, recover, and gain control of their future.” According to the organization more than 26 million people benefited from IRC programs and those of its partner organizations in 2016. In addition to traditional fundraising programs, it operates a very unique giving program whereby donors can give a gift to support specific services such as emergency food for children and toolboxes for disaster recovery.
7 E. Baltimore St.
Baltimore, MD 21202
World Relief is a global humanitarian relief and development organization that has its main U.S office in Baltimore. It works with local churches to end the cycle of suffering, transform lives and build sustainable communities.Founded in 1944, the organization works in 20 countries worldwide through disaster response, health and child development, economic development and peacebuilding. Monetary donations can be made to support the organization’s general work or a specific focus area. There are also various volunteer opportunities such as helping refugees resettle and teaching ESL classes.