One can safely say that the Canadian Muslim community gives generously, especially during Ramadan. One can also say that most of this giving, however, goes overseas to target countries ‘back home’, and majority Muslim countries. Without belittling the importance of these international humanitarian efforts, this often leaves our own local communities wanting for help.
Project Ramadan is an organization that takes a somewhat different approach. Established in 2009, Project Ramadan fundraises, puts together, and distributes baskets with staple foods that help recipients create healthy, balanced meals during Ramadan. The entirely volunteer run initiative commits itself to serving those in need regardless of race, nationality or ethnicity.
Getting the supplies from package to person takes three main components – funds, volunteers, and advertising.
Targeting over 10,000 families in Toronto alone who don’t know where their next meal is coming from, Project Ramadan provides a simple means of making a tangible difference. A gift of $50 means those in need have direct access to items like rice, flour, canned goods, and more.
Fundraising is doubly impactful thanks to the help of Project Ramadan’s sponsor, Islamic Relief Canada, which has pledged to match every dollar donated to the project, up to $75,000. Project Ramadan is also supported by the Muslim Welfare Center (MWC), its founding partner. Together, they have managed to raise over $374,000 and successfully distributed more than 7,400 baskets through the MWC’s food bank network of more than 8,400 community members.
The success of the organization would no doubt be negligible without the help of a dedicated team of volunteers. Every summer, hundreds of volunteers from all around the GTA dedicate their time and efforts to put together packages, connect with the community, and above all, make a difference. Beyond the physical builds, volunteers flyer their local neighbourhoods for support – Project Ramadan will give you the paper, but only if you give them the selfies to prove it.
And of course, for any initiative to thrive, it needs the support of its community. You can show your support on social media – like them on Facebook, follow them on Twitter, and double tap those Instagram pics – at Project Ramadan, or tell your family, friends, and local communities.
Translating the power of the Muslim community into visible differences within our own communities, Project Ramadan deviates from the typical humanitarian targets and sheds light on another worthy cause that hits much closer to home.