CAIRO – A Muslim charity in the UK has been handing out sleeping bags and warm clothes to the homeless and street rough sleepers, getting awarded by changing misconceptions about their faith.
“These are for rough sleepers who don’t have shelter or anywhere to sleep for the night. There are a lot of homeless people that have shelter, but this is going to those who don’t,” Syed Hussain, a volunteer coordinator for Al-Khair Foundation, told Get West London on Tuesday, January 19.
“We’ve had fantastic feedback. For them to get a winter warm pack is uplifting. It gives them the extra warmth they need.”
Hussain was referring to the foundation’s latest campaign which kicked off this January under the title “Let’s Warm Britain”.
Over the past three Mondays in January, the charity has been working with Streetlytes, a west London homeless charity working at the Church of St Stephen and St Thomas, in delivering vital equipment to cope with the harsh winter weather.
On January 11 the foundation gave away 100 sleeping bags.
On January 18, it gave away 100 winter warm packs, consisting of accessories such as socks, gloves, scarves and hats.
And on January 25, up to 150 containers of biriyani will be picked up from a takeaway restaurant and handed out to those in need.
Offering a true model of Islam, a spokesperson for Al-Khair said its work was helping change perceptions.
“In recent times, the Muslim community is often painted in a negative light. However, giving to the needy is a core tenet of the faith,” she said.
“Al-Khair Foundation cares for the Muslim and non-Muslim community alike and wants to change these perceptions, by increasing awareness about our culture of giving.”
Hussain added: “We are a human aid organization. Charity begins at home to have this project in the UK that benefits the British people.”
Britain is home to a sizable Muslim minority of nearly 2.7 million.
In July 2013, a survey by JustGiving charity website has found that Muslims top charity givers in the UK, compared with other faiths.