ISLAMIC Relief Canada, Canada’s largest Muslim charity, is launching its annual Share the Warmth campaign this weekend to help the homeless during the harsh winter months.
Now in its fourth year, the campaign — which has grown from a $127,000 budget to $300,000 this year — has expanded from 14 cities to 23. It will include the Northwest Territories and Manitoba for the first time, in addition to Ontario, Quebec, Saskatchewan, Alberta and British Columbia.
“The winter months are the most brutal times for those living on the streets as they often have little access to winter supplies and hygiene products. Because of COVID-19, it’s expected that an even larger number of families, youth and women will find themselves homeless or vulnerable this winter. So this year, we decided to start our distributions earlier in the season and added more locations to help as many communities as we can,” says Reyhana Patel, Head of Communications and Government Relations at Islamic Relief Canada.
Throughout December and January, Islamic Relief staff and volunteers will assemble and distribute 4,500 winter care kits — which include items such as blankets, sleeping bags, coats, socks and feminine hygiene products — to community partners in each city. New items this year include warming pads, raincoats and umbrellas in some locations.
More than 5,000 PPE items such as masks, face shields and sanitizers will be provided to shelters across the country. In addition, Islamic Relief is partnering with local soup kitchens to serve more than 4,000 hot meals.
Islamic Relief is working with organizations that serve refugees and newcomers, Indigenous communities and women’s shelters for the first time as well.
Cities included in this year’s campaign are Toronto, Durham, Peel Region, Hamilton, London, Windsor, Niagara, Peterborough, Ottawa, Quebec City, Montreal, Vancouver, Surrey, Abbotsford, Calgary, Lethbridge, Edmonton, Saskatoon, Regina, Yellowknife, Halifax and Winnipeg.
About Islamic Relief Canada
Islamic Relief Canada is a registered charity in Canada and a prominent Muslim NGO that works in more than 30 countries to provide humanitarian relief and build resilient, prosperous communities. Visit islamicrelief.ca for more information.