Gifts of Service for Nelson Mandela’s Birthday

Photo from Flickr user Christine van der Merwe

Adapted from a post originally on the homepage blog by Julia Smith.

In honor of Nelson Mandela’s birthday, the organization 46664 and the Nelson Mandela Foundation have deemed Saturday, July 18, Mandela Day. On the website, organizers wrote: “Mr. Mandela has spent 67 years making the world a better place. We’re asking you for 67 minutes.”

People around the world pledged more than 157,375 minutes of service this past weekend, and it’s not too late for you to get involved and volunteer (also check out‘s volunteer opportunities).

In addition to the push for service around the globe, there were major celebrations in South Africa and the United States. According to this blog post, the South Africa-based event were held in Newtown and featured music, dance, and speeches; meanwhile, a concert at Radio City Music Hall in New York included performances from among others, Stevie Wonder, Alicia Keys, Aretha Franklin, and one of my favorite South African groups, Freshlyground. Organizers last week tweeted that “The 2010 Mandela Day concert will take place in Madrid. Official announcement has just taken place in New York.”

Learn more about Mandela Day at