This day of community service was launched in 2007 in Israel by businesswoman and philanthropist, Shari Arison, through Ruach Tova, a Nonprofit organization that connects between people who want to volunteer and organizations in need of assistance.
Speaking about the day, initiator Shari Arison said:
I believe that if people will think good, speak good and do good, the circles of goodness will grow in the world. Good Deeds Day has become the leading day of giving and this year individuals, school children, students, soldiers and employees from many businesses are joining in for the annual Good Deeds Day with the aim of doing a good deed for others.
Approximately 7,000 people participated in Israel in 2007. The day became global in 2011, with participants from around the world, including in the USA, Ukraine and Poland. In 2012, project organizers teamed up with MTV Global for a six-week-campaign on its online and TV platforms, exposing the message to 24 million viewers around the world. In 2014, NASDAQ invited Shari Arison to kick off Good Deeds Day in the trading day closing bell ceremony. 2016 marked the third year in a row of the NASDAQ and Good Deeds Day collaboration.
Good Deeds Day 2017 will be on Sunday, April 2, 2017.
In 2016, Good Deeds Day’s 10th anniversary, approximately 1,500,000 participants from 75 countries volunteered, marking it the largest and most global day yet. To celebrate, project organizers held mega events in New York City, Sao Paulo, Brazil and Rome, Italy.
Good Deeds Day and Ruach Tova are part of The Ted Arison Family Foundation, the philanthropic arm of the Arison Group.
In 2011, international companies Shikun & Binui and Bank Hapoalim were among the first international participants in Good Deeds Day outside of Israel. As of 2016, Good Deeds Day is celebrated in 75 countries worldwide, and has collaborated with major cities such as Rome, São Paulo, Kaohsiung City, and New York City to create special events. In the Good Deeds Day event at Herald Square, New York City, actor and activist Adrian Grenier supported the day by speaking at the event:
It’s important to have a day in which we acknowledge wonderful people who are dedicated to doing good.
Pope Francis endorsed the day in his Sunday sermon prior to Good Deeds Day 2015 in Rome and said:
I send my wishes to the numerous groups of volunteers that have united to show solidarity by doing good deeds that promote a better society.
In 2016 Good Deeds Day collaborated with Brazil based volunteering center Atados on a nation-wide activation. Together they reached 10,000 volunteers around the country, and 40 cities across Brazil including major cities like Rio de Janeiro, Brasília, and São Paulo.
In Latin America, major Good Deeds Day events took place in Panama, Costa Rica, Brazil, Peru, and 16 other countries in the region.
In Taiwan, Good Deeds Day collaborated with TAVE (Taiwan Association for Volunteer Effort) to create major city wide activities in Kaohsiung City, Taiwan in 2016. Taiwan’s Vice President, Chen Chien-jen, and Kaohsiung’s Mayor, Chen Chu, were among the government officials honoring the day in 2016. Taoyuan City also hosted city wide activities, arranged by Taoyuan City Volunteer Service Association and other partnering organizations.
One of the biggest collaborations in Europe include SPES (Associazione Promozione e Solidarietà) in Italy, who organized a major Good Deeds Day event in Rome in 2016. Good Deeds Day invited runners in the Rome Marathon to join the “Roma Fun Run” and visit the Good Deeds Day fair of non-profits at the finish line.
Good Deeds Day (Hebrew: יום מעשים טובים) first began in Israel in 2007 with 7,000 participants and grew to 1,500,000 in 2016. Local municipalities, companies, and nonprofit organizations all around the country participate by organizing special activities in their communities, renovating or painting buildings, building community gardens, and volunteering in many other ways for populations in need. Cities such as Tel Aviv and Jerusalem also host special Good Deeds Day events that are open to the public, such as the 2016 “Counselor’s Boulevard” that took place on Rothschild Boulevard, Tel Aviv. Professionals gave free counseling sessions to passersby. Other public events include the 2015 Good Deeds Day nonprofit Fair at Rabin Square, Tel Aviv, and Ashkelon, which included hair donation stands, dog adoption area, and a give-and-take market.
* Good Deeds Day became international in 2011.
Good Deeds Day received the George W. Romney Affiliate Excellence Award in 2016.