Just a few days before Eid al Fitr, GE Volunteer Tarek Al-Jabi was standing in a clothing store in Dubai doing a video call. He wasn’t talking with colleagues or chatting with family. He was helping a disadvantaged child choose outfits for Eid.
While the pandemic has impacted Ramadan for the second year in a row, it hasn’t deterred GE employees in the UAE from giving back to members of the community in need.
This “virtual shopping trip” held in collaboration with Rawafed Development & Learning Center has enabled children who otherwise couldn’t afford it to participate in the fun and tradition of wearing new clothes for the holiday.
The program has connected nearly 50 GE Volunteers with more than 90 children being served by Rawafed. Each GE employee walks through the store pointing their phone or tablet camera at the racks of clothing to help the child find and select some outfits. The volunteer then purchases the outfits and has them delivered to the child in time for Eid.
It is just one of several projects led by GE Volunteers during the Holy Month that reflects the spirit of giving and community.
Another activity, which has run throughout the month, has seen GE employees make donations sufficient for 1100 Ramadan Care Boxes sent to blue-collar workers in Dubai. That’s more than 11,000 kilos of food distributed workers in partnership with local charity Smart Life.
GE Volunteers also have created opportunities for employees to donate school supplies, new or like-new used clothes, and old electronics. Boxes of these items have been collected from GE locations in the UAE.
Across all these activities, the GE Volunteers and employees followed all COVID protocols to ensure donated items safely reached those in need.
The school supplies are being collected for underprivileged children in the UAE and abroad, to ensure they have the paper, notebooks, pencils, calculators, school bags, water bottles and other supplies necessary to get the most out of school. The collection is being organized as part of a UAE Red Crescent initiative.
The clothing drive, done in partnership with the UAE Red Crescent and Nefsy and separate from the Rawafed initiative, is contributing to a goal of providing new outfits to 5,000 families for Eid. The electronics will be repurposed and sold, with proceeds going to Friends of Cancer Patients, UAE.
GE Volunteers activities during Ramadan are just one aspect of year-round efforts to contribute to the UAE community and support those in need.