and feeling shocked at the world
black schoolbags filled up
and feeling shocked at the world
black schoolbags filled up
rainbow of colours
flowers desperate attempts to
bring life to white walls
with fumes as fragrances and
oil the elixir of life
We’re four days into Ramadan and already there are a myriad of initiatives that you can take part in to give back to the community this year. I’ve compiled a short list below and will keep updating it with new and exciting findings.
Ramadan Kareem! May Allah accept our fasts, our prayers, our duaas, and the sincerity of our actions.
Open Arms UAE has issued a call to start collecting Eid Kits for the less privileged. You can either donate so they can purchase the required items on your behalf, or if you have some time you can buy the items yourself and drop them off at the designated drop-off locations.
Abu Dhabi Blood Bank has launched an appeal this Ramadan for donors to come forth and donate blood amid a drop this month. During Ramadan, the blood bank is open from 7am-3pm and 8pm-2am on weekdays and 8pm to 2am on Saturday.
Coins left over from your last trip around the world? Money exchanges unwilling to accept them? No worries… now you can donate your leftover coins through the Currency Charity Bank! In collaboration with Dubai Municipality, The Emirates Airline Foundation will pick up the coins and will then use the money in their charity projects around the world. Also, if you’re just a visitor to the UAE, you can donate any spare change to the Currency Charity Bank and all the money will go to the UAE Food Bank. 🙂
OMO is back this year with their Touch of Love Campaign in collaboration with Uber, making it even easier to donate clothes. If you’t arrange a drop-off, simply use the “UberOMO” option in the Uber app to arrange a free pick up between 5-10pm up till the 22nd of June! In addition, donation boxes will be set up in malls across the UAE such as Mirdif City Centre, Deira City Centre and Mall of the Emirates.
This year Etihad has partnered with Emirates Red Crescent to provide 20,000 meals to families in need in Somalia. How can you contribute? It’s as easy as donating miles. Every 750 Guest Miles will provide one meal.
Serve the Heroes is looking for 40 school/college going volunteers to serve iftar to Bee’ah workers at the Abdulla Labour Camp in Sharjah.
Wanna Read are holding two events this Ramadan from the 1st to the 24th of June and are looking for volunteers in Abu Dhabi! Skill required – enthusiasm and a willingness to put a smile on a child’s face 🙂
In collaboration with Al Ihsan Charity, Etisalat has set up Medicine Drop Boxes across 12 of its offices, where you can go to drop off unused medication to help the needy.
This Ramadan, Salma Aid is looking for us to step up and contribute to their cause – to expand their network and provide food relief across the globe whenever disaster strikes.
For companies looking to do some CSR, this is the perfect opportunity. This Ramadan, donate a portion of your sales/service to Al Noor Training Centre for children with special needs.
Get in touch here!
The Galleria’s Great Room is the place to be on Al Maryah Island. This Ramadan, they’re collecting brand new toys and clothes for children 12 and under for distribution to charities around the country.
A runaway success from 2016, Ramadan Fridges are back this year and the initiative is bigger than ever. Unlike last year, this year the initiative is operating under the Red Crescent umbrella (yayy!) and while any kind of food donation is appreciated (water, juices, fruits, vegetables, dates, etc.), the only major thing to keep in mind is that NO cooked food is allowed to be stocked in the fridges which is understandable. If you’re looking for some way to give back to the community this year, this is probably one of the best ways you can take part. Wondering where the fridges are located? Look no further!
While it’s notoriously difficult to secure a place for a volunteer activity with Dubai Cares due to the vast number of applicants (always a wonderful problem to have ^^), this year there are 2800 spots available to take part in their ‘Back To School Initiative’! The initiative involves getting ready 50,000 schoolbags and pencil cases for distribution to Syrian refugees.
Sign up here
There are lots and lots of opportunities available with the Emirates Foundation (Takatof) this Ramadan, and the best part is there are volunteer opportunities available in almost every Emirate! From distributing iftar packages to helping people with special needs get to the mosques for prayers, there are a number of ways in which you can help. You’ll need to register which won’t take too long and then you’re all set to go!
Search for opportunities here
Want to distribute iftar at local mosques but don’t know where to source the meals from? There are a number of restaurants that offer high quality food especially during Ramadan for distribution in large volumes. Get in touch with you local mosque, see how you can help and then get in touch with some of these restaurants to source the food!
Alternatively you can buy the meals through Groupon for Emirates Red Crescent who will also arrange the distribution.
Pakistan Association Dubai is looking for volunteers at their mosque in Oud Metha where they will be serving iftar every day. Get in touch with PAD and see how you can help out 🙂
This year du is looking for volunteers to help pack and distribute iftar meals around the UAE from the 20th of May to the 17th of June. Hurry up and register!
Every year donation boxes go up in City Centres across the UAE collecting toys, books and clothes. This year is no different! Next time you head out to any City Centre don’t forget to drop off your bag of goodies.
Moti Roti is partnering with other local restaurants to provide food at construction sites every day, except Fridays.Whether you’re a restaurant or just someone who’d like to volunteer, check out the schedule on their website and get in touch.
If you’ve never volunteered with Dubai Cares before, it’s time to give it some serious thought. I never had an opportunity to take part in any of their events before, mainly due to the fact that there are more volunteers than slots available, which is probably the nicest problem to have, but managed to get a slot in the 3rd edition of Volunteer Emirates at Al Rashidiya Private School this year.
The charity school, with over 700 students, was in need of helping hands for a nice makeover. From arranging the library, painting murals, assembling shelving and setting up the theatre and even landscaping, people were ready to help with it all.
We started at around 8am, got assigned to our groups and I was in with the mural painting team. I’ll be frank, I’m not much of a painter, but there is something amazing about seeing the walls transform from a boring cream, to a rainbow of colours and images that would bring out the inner painter in us all.
While the other teams headed off to do the heavy lifting with the shelves and landscaping, we headed off to collect our paint, plastic rolls, brushes, thinner, gloves and all our energy so we could finish up before lunch. As we were working, I was reminded yet again of how volunteering brings out the best in people- everyone doing their best, working together and helping each other out whether that meant lending each other brushes and paints to avoid the long walk to the paint station, or giving their artistic opinion on whether the sand looked real enough or if we needed to figure out a new paint mixing formula instead.
Also, the team that had gathered was a true testament to the diversity in the UAE- so many different nationalities with their own unique backgrounds and experiences, brought together by a common cause, sharing and learning through great conversations over a palette and a fatayer. Many of us came in as strangers and left as friends with phone numbers exchanged and promises to meet again soon.
Even as we wrapped up, there was still lots of work being done to ready the school for the first day after the weekend. What a surprise it will be for the kids- to walk in on Sunday morning and see their school transformed… like magic… 🙂
I think we could all do with bringing some magic into other people’s lives ❤
This Ramadan, I have decided to compile a list of initiatives and causes to which you can contribute. Whether it’s volunteering your time, or donating your money, there’s always something you can do to put a smile on someone’s face. 🙂
If you know of any other great initiatives let me know so we can spread the goodness!
This Ramadan, Najmat Lahore has specially prepared Iftar packs for distribution to those in need.
Mezbaan Hyderabad Restaurant is delivering iftar boxes straight to labour camps and construction sites. Meals can be bought on Cobone at the click of a button!
Movenpick hotels have launched the Kilo of Kindness campaign which is looking to collect donations of tinned and dry foods. Drop off locations are in the lobbies of the participating hotels, as listed on their website.
Virgin Megastore has teamed up with Fetchr to help people give back to Dubai Foundation for Women and Children. It’s as simple as buying an item, having it delivered through Fetchr and then filling up your box with goodies like women and children’s clothes and toys as well as electronics and then contacting Fetchr for a free pick up!
Nakheel and Dar Al Ber have teamed up with Ibn Battuta Mall to set up donation boxes across the mall, accepting donations of clothes, shoes, books and money.
Volunteers in Deen is looking for help distributing iftar among labour camps in Sajaa Industrial Area, Sharjah. If you’re interested, check out their page and get in touch!
Emirates NBD has set up collecting booths across the UAE where you can donate your old sunglasses which will be repaired, sanitised and distributed to labour this Ramadan.
Join the group and set up a fridge outside your home or help to stock fridges around the UAE with your yummy goodies to help out people in need.
Launched this Ramadan, the initiative aims to distribute 5 million books to refugees and schools and libraries around the world.Donations can be made via bank transfer, online via the Dubai Cares website, in person at leading malls or via SMS through du and Etisalat.
UNRWA is looking for support to help feed around a million refugees in Gaza and a further 430000 refugees in Syria this Ramadan. For less than USD 200 you can feed a family for an entire month.
Help in distributing iftar to a thousand people this Ramadan. To volunteer, get in touch with them at firstname.lastname@example.org or contact them via Twitter
Lahori Gate Restaurant and Kilby Cafe in Dubai are giving away meals to the less fortunate. Get in touch with them to pay for someone’s meal this Ramadan.
Like every year, City Centres all over the UAE are ready to take your donations of books, toys, clothes and electronic items.
You can always take time out to donate blood at the Dubai Blood Donation Centre this Ramadan. The centre is open after iftar but make sure you check the procedures and requirements before you go.
Moti Roti is partnering with other local restaurants to provide food at construction sites every day, except Fridays.Whether you’re a restaurant or just someone who’d like to volunteer, make sure to fill out the form on their site.
It’s time to fill out those shoeboxes with all the little essentials to help out all the labour who help us out everyday. Baembu is looking for male volunteers for distribution at the labour camps but everyone else is welcome to pick up a box for donation.
Lots of volunteers are required for lots of events being held across the emirates, from iftar distribution to heping out in the Quran recitation awards. To volunteer, register with Takatof and go through their available opportunities.
Thumbay hospitals in Dubai, Ajman and Fujairah have launched a campaign to collect books and toys o don’t forget to take along your goodies to your next doctor’s appointment!