LONDON – A leading British Muslim charity has embarked on its annual charitable giving drive, hosting a series of events to keep the needy and homeless warm, in a season them see as an important time for doing good, giving gifts and being with those you love.
“People are going to do good and if [positive press] comes out of it then brilliant but we are doing it because people need help not because we want to get on the news,” Muslim Aid charity’s UK Program Officer, Joseph Coules, told The Independent.
“The idea is people in the community need help. We keep hearing in the news that there is no money for social care.
“Every week we hear that elderly people can’t afford to heat their homes. They can’t afford to be warm and eat at the same time.”
The charity embarked on its annual charitable giving drive, holding a series of events to help London most vulnerable.
In one of these events, volunteers handed Keep Warm Kits to elderly parishioners at St James the Less Church in Bethnal Green, east London as they sat down to their Christmas lunch last week.
Pat Farmer, one of the people who set up the annual Christmas dinner for the elderly around five years ago, said the event was so important to them as for many “its the only Christmas they are going to get”.
Volunteers served the Christmas meal for the 30 or so elderly people at the event, before handing out the kits.
According to Coules, Muslims want to help because it is “their society” as well.
Fatema Mawji, one of the volunteers, said she the charity work made her feel “like a better person”.
Although she does not celebrate Christmas, her family still see it as an important time for doing good, giving gifts and being with those you love.
“I think it quite important to be here because we have a good time as well. I mean our grandfathers and grandmothers might not be here right now so it makes us feel like they are,” teenager, from Ilford in east London, said.
“It makes me feel happy, it makes me feel close to them”
In her second time volunteering with Muslim Aid, she said she would continue in the New Year because she “thinks it is a great cause”.
“Christmas means quite a lot to elderly people. In the winter they are quite vulnerable so we are here to help them out and make them feel that they are still special, that we are still there for them,” Mawji added.