I know it seems a bit unusual to have a page like this on a blog, but you know what, it’s my blog and this is something close to my heart – so why wouldn’t I want to talk about it? 🙂
One of my favourite things about Facebook is amongst the check ins and updates are some really inspirational stories of my dear friends really making a difference, trying to make changes for the good and dedicating so much of their time and effort to help those less fortunate.
At the last TEDx I went to, one of the speakers Ruth Daniels made a point that struck me – “the impact of war, climate change and inequality impacts us all, we should not get complacent”. (click here to watch her talk in full)
I try my best to be charitable in any way possible, whether it be through donations, collections, offering time etc. – but I know I can (and should) do more and I wanted to keep this page here to remind me and to help share a few stories, in case I’m fundraising near you and you want to know why. I have a number of strong women I hold in high regard as role models who inspire me to become a better person, my mother being number one, and these two ladies here are my two and three…
Flowers for Fatima
Led by my amazing sister, Hafsa Mekki
Last year was, as my sister so aptly put it, was the ‘Year of the Hospital’ for my family. My grandmother, dad, sister, mother (to name a few) were in and out of various NHS institutions. And for me, well I also had a scary stint involving an emergency operation and I am forever grateful for the outstanding level of service I received from a large team of staff, that had nothing but my best interest at heart.
I know a lot of people think, so what? our taxes pay for this, but that doesn’t mean the NHS still doesn’t need our help. Healthcare’s pretty damn expensive – and we don’t really pay that much.
‘Flowers for Fatima’ was started after my grandma made us realise how grateful we should be. The idea for making the effort to donate however, came from my dad.
Whilst he was in hospital, aside from any health worries, one of his main concerns was that people would start spending money unnecessarily on gifts for him. Chocolates, snacks, magazines, flowers – all of which he appreciated as signs of caring, however he felt that surely the money could go to better use – like being donated to the departments who went above and beyond to help him in his recovery. And that’s exactly what my sister has been doing, leading her own mini-campaign to make people look differently at the NHS and replace the get well soon teddy and flowers with helpful healthcare donations.
Lesbos refugee crisis – ProActive Support
Direct aid distributed by one of the most inspirational women I know, Razia Anwar
I get butterflies every time I read an update from this wonderful lady on Facebook. Razia has always been passionate about charitable causes, ever since I’ve known her she has not only run successful businesses, but also donated as much of her spare time (and company profits!) for causes such as Macmillan Cancer Trust.
Over the last year she has taken her charitable side to a new level and has spent, what looks like, every ounce of her spare time raising money, essential goods, packing containers and then travelling to Lesbos, and other countries in crisis, to help with aid distribution – basically offering whatever support she can to the thousands of refugees. And by God she has offered a lot of support.
I’m sad to say I’ve come across a lot of negativity amongst people I know when it comes to the discussion refugees but we all need to remember that this is not a political problem but a humanitarian crisis. And it’s people like Razia who remind us of that.
I don’t know many women like her and I want to make more of an effort to follow her journey even more closely to ensure if there’s ever an opportunity to help, I can get on it.
I really hope you don’t, but if you for any reason find yourself in hospital and want to follow our cause, why not encourage friends and family to make a donation to the charitable foundation of the one place that will look after you no matter what???
My sis, dad and I will once again be putting on our running shoes for the Great Manchester run on the 22nd May in aid of Flowers for Fatima – any sponsorship would be much appreciated – I’ve had to run many a muddy park run to try and prepare myself for it!!
With regards to the refugee crisis, the needs of the people living in the camps changes on a regular basis. Razia puts up live notices from the camps to state what items they are desperate for. I usually send the lists on to friends and family and collect as much as I can and drop it straight off to her collection points, so she can pack them into shipping containers, luggage, whatever means she can to get them there.
If you are interested in helping or can donate items of use please drop me an email and we can work something out – email@example.com
I’d just like to point out I have many, many more wonderful friends who are passionate about charitable causes and dedicate time, effort and money to them and I will still try and support as many of them as I can!! But these two above are the areas in particular that I am currently passionate about.
Other causes I follow:
St James School, Uganda – Inspired by Gerry Hambridge
British Heart Foundation – Inspired by Abu Saleh
If you have any charities or projects that you recommend I check out, or you would like to share their stories please shout out and let me know. I would love to try and offer my support.