Mandela Day began on July 18, 2009, on his 91st birthday and about a year after a June 2008 speech in which he called on new leaders to relieve his generation from the burdens of leadership.
Thursday, July 18, is Mandela Day, a day of service that recognizes South African activist and former president Nelson Mandela’s birthday.
This year, Mandela, who has suffered several health complications and has been in and out of the hospital, turns 95.
Mandela Day, which was ratified by the United Nations four years ago, serves to encourage citizens across the globe to give at least 67 minutes — a minute for each year of Mandela’s service — of their day to improving the world.
The Nelson Mandela Foundation and its sister organizations, which sponsor the holiday, recommend a few steps to take to commemorate Mandela Day.
Here are 10 ways you can celebrate the day:
1) Make a new friend. Get to know or go to lunch with someone from a different cultural background.
2) Read to someone. Visit a library or local home for the blind or elderly.
3) Help someone get a job. Review their résumé or test their interview skills.
4) Clean up your community. Paint a mural over graffiti, help fix up a run-down playground or pick up trash.
5) Host a back-to-school drive. Help kids in your community get ready for school by having the supplies or clothing they need.
6) Offer to tutor someone. Pick a subject that you’re good at and try to help someone with their learning and/or study skills in that subject.
7) Find out what matters in your neighborhood. Organize a public issues forum for you and your neighbors.
8) Volunteer at a soup kitchen or food bank. Help feed the hungry in your area.
9) Be an advocate for the disabled. Conduct a workplace or community accessibility check to identify potential barriers for individuals with disabilities.
10) Go green(er). If there are no recycling options where you live or work, petition your job or local lawmakers to provide one.
Plan your own project or find more suggestions at MandelaDay.com, youth