Youth making a difference

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December 22, 2016 11:06 AM

Kind-hearted kids round up quarter ton of food

The Lloydminster Ahmadiyya Muslim Community is making a sizeable contribution to a local charity today, after nearly two weeks of collecting food donations from its members.

The Ahmadiyya Muslim Youth Association brought in 500 lbs. of grub in just 10 days and will truck it all over to The Olive Tree this afternoon where it’ll be redistributed back into the community for those in need.

“Every year our community organizes an annual food drive, mostly arranged by our youth organization and this year it was conducted between the middle 10 days of December and it concluded yesterday, and within a few days our youth will be delivering the food items they’ve collected to a local food bank in Lloydminster,” said Tariq Azeem, Imam and missionary for the local Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, earlier this week.

“We understand our religion teaches us that we have to serve humanity; to be a true Muslim, there are two basic components: one, that you worship God Almighty, and second, that you serve humanity; if either of these things is missing, then your claim to be a true Muslim is not confirmed.”
Therefore, to fulfil the command of the Holy Qur’an and God Almighty, it’s encouraged that every member of the community take part in charitable activities to give back as much as possible, Azeem said.

He added nationally Ahmadiyya Muslim Youth Associations collected more than 1 million lbs. of food this year alone, all of which was delivered to local food banks where the specific donations were brought in.

In the Border City, the 20 member youth group gathered a variety of items like rice, canned food, boxes of noodles and many other foods typically needed by food banks.

“The Olive Tree has been a very active part of the community and they’ve been doing this for a long time in Lloydminster, therefore all these organizations are working for the same purpose and we had to approach someone, and as mentioned, they are a local group that has been working very efficiently, so we decided to approach them and give our donations over there,” said Azeem.

Becky Schille, director of the Olive Tree, said it feels awesome to get such a big donation and every year she’s impressed with Lloydminster’s generosity.

Though she’s not entirely sure what the food will be used for specifically, she said it’ll likely be sorted and go toward things like The Olive Tree’s Food Rescue program, soup kitchen, and other places the organization donates to, like both school divisions and other non-profits.
The timing was also good, Schille said, as The Olive Tree just finished filling out its Christmas hampers and has some empty shelves to restock.
“I think definitely December is always the biggest need; you have a lot of families struggling to make ends meet, but they want to be able to provide a few things for their kids for Christmas and that kind of tightens the budget up, so definitely we’re seeing a lot of need,” she said.

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