Sunday, January 1, 2017

Canada: Ahmadiyya community serving humanity over holiday season


The 20 member Border City group gathered a variety of items like rice, canned goods and noodles, alongside many other items and non-perishables which are needed at the food banks during the holiday season.

A member of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Youth Association is seen as he drops off
some of the more than 500 pounds of food for the Olive Tree which they collected,
on Dec. 22. Tyler Marr / Meridian Booster
Times of Ahmad | News Watch | US Desk
Source/Credit: Lloydminster Meridian Booster
By Tyler Marr | December 29, 2016

The Lloydminster Ahmadiyya Muslim community has been fulfilling a key aspect of their faith in December; serving humanity.

The Ahmadiyya Muslim Youth Association, as part of an annual initiative, collected 500 pounds of food in just 10 days, and made the sizeable donation to the Olive Tree on Thursday.

“We always try to do the upbringing of our youth in this manner, so that they can become beneficial members of society,” Tariq Azeem said, Imam with the local Ahmadiyya Muslim community.

The food drive is an annual event, in which young Ahmadiyya Muslims across Canada and the globe come together to assist and give back to their communities to help those who may not be as fortunate over the holiday season.

“Our faith teaches us we must do this,” Azeem explained. “It is a source of encouragement but it is also part of their upbringing where they are learning they cannot just care about themselves but they have to serve humanity as well.”

Nationally, around a million pounds of food are collected by the Youth Associations each year.

The 20 member Border City group gathered a variety of items like rice, canned goods and noodles, alongside many other items and non-perishables which are needed at the food banks during the holiday season.

“This season, it is a time of celebration for most of the people,” Azeem said. “Sometimes you forget that there are people are who are not fortunate enough to have these luxuries for celebrations and not enjoy them to the full extent.”

To help alleviate this matter, it is key for the community to give back through a number of initiatives over the holiday season.

For the Olive Tree, which relies solely on the community to help fill the shelves, having the extra items come in was always appreciated.

“It is amazing,” said Becky Schille, director at the Olive Tree. “Every donation and every little bit helps. It is a very busy season for us, so when someone takes initiative and does a fundraiser or collection for us, it is very much appreciated.”

Over the holiday season, Schille indicated how there was a slight increase in demand for the food bank, but with the additional donations in December and prior — the Olive Tree received over 8,000 pounds of food in October — and additional volunteers, things, though hectic, manage to equal out.

Azeem also explained how serving humanity is one of the two main aspects of the communities worship, alongside fulfilling the rites of God Almighty.

“If you are missing either of these components than our faith cannot be called complete,” he said.

He made mention of the extremist around the world who call and associate themselves with the Muslim faith but are far from the faith as they miss these two essential components of their religion.

The Youth Association food collection, however, was not the only exciting initiative the Ahmadiyya Muslim community has embarked upon this season.

The Ahmadiyya Muslim Woman’s Association also partook in serving humanity. Earlier in the month, they collected warm clothes and donated them to the Lloydminster Native Friendship Centre and packed over 60 shoeboxes for Operation Christmas Child.

“These are some initiatives our community always tries to participate with, so when we are having our different ways of celebrating, we are also remembering those who are less fortunate so they can also have the means,” Azeem said.



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