6 Ways To Give Back This Ramadan by Alavia Yahya
Posted on May 18, 2017
With Ramadan right around the corner, it’s important to slow down and prepare how we're going to make the most of this blessed month. What better way to get in the Ramadan spirit than to think of all the ways we can give back this year, and then put them into action? Here are a few ideas to get you started!
1. Host a "Give-Back Iftar"
Here’s an idea to make hosting your annual epic iftars even more memorable and beneficial: turn them into food drives! Ask your guests to bring non-perishable foods to donate and have collection boxes set up at your event. The next day, you can haul your mountain of food over to your local food bank or masjid pantry. Not only will you and your friends be happy and fed, but community members in need will be too!
2. Channel your inner Katniss Everdeen and volunteer!
Whether it's Ramadan or not, volunteering is always a good idea. There are countless volunteer opportunities in every community from homeless shelters to retirement homes to national parks. You can take part in a Habitat for Humanity to build a house or maybe even spend some time volunteering at the same food bank you brought your non-perishable foods to. If you’re not sure where to start, you local masjid is always a good bet!
3. Put your oven to work!
There’s a reason bake sales are still happening- they’re a fun, easy way to make a difference. Is there a particular cause or organization that you’re passionate about and would love to help? Get your friends together and organize a bake sale! Put the cupcake-baking connoisseur in your life to work. Everyone can sign up to bring a different type of treat like cookies, cakes, baklava, kunafeh, jalebi, halwa (ok so those last two aren’t baked, but they’re still delicious!) whatever makes an easy, portable snack. The world needs you to make it a sweeter place. It’ll probably be tough to sell these sweet treats during the day, but maybe your masjid will allow you to sell them after Taraweeh prayers when everyone will be on their way out and ready for a snack! Whatever the case, I’m sure you can find a great time and place to sell your treats and raise funds for a worthy cause.
4. Make Eid special for refugees in your community!
Once Ramadan rolls around, I start getting excited for Eid. Most of us are blessed with the ability to get new clothes and gifts during this time of year, but newly settled refugees may not have that luxury. You can host a clothing and toy drive to help your refugee neighbors have an unforgettable Eid. Your local masjid may already do this, but if not, you can get it started! Throughout the month of Ramadan, have collection boxes set up around your masjid to collect clothing and toys for refugees in your community. Help give them a warm welcome by celebrating Ramadan and Eid together, and keep doing what you can to be a good neighbor long after the holidays.
The simplest, easiest, and oftentimes most forgotten form of charity is smiling! The Prophet (S) said, "When you smile to your brother's face, it is charity." Consider this your reminder to smile as often as you can, because being kind and brightening someone’s day is never a bad thing. So be happy, flash those pearly whites, and spread some joy!
6. Reach out to your neighbors!
Remember, it’s important to celebrate not only with your Muslim community but with your non-Muslim friends as well. Show them what Ramadan and Eid are all about- and if you’re not Muslim, show your Muslim friends a little love during this special time of year. Kishmish's 'Hello Neighbor' greeting card (pictured above) is perfect for neighbors to exchange a gesture of empathy, inclusion, and solidarity. They also have a lovely range of Ramadan cards and a new Eid collection dropping soon!
I hope these ideas have been helpful and inspired you to get involved this Ramadan!
Kishmish is a Chicago and San Francisco based company founded by Muslim female entrepreneurs, Fatima Vijapura and Zareen Abbasi, with a mission to bring culturally relevant greeting cards and quirky gift items to South Asians and Muslims globally. You can find them online at shopkishmish.com as well as on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
What's your favorite way to give back to your community? Share in the comments below!