Spreading a little warmth & hope during the festive season, the Dawoodi Bohra community of Melbourne hosted a food drive and a toy drive over the Christmas period to support local people that need an extra helping hand as the holiday season can be a very expensive time of year.
The Bohras collected and donated 250 kgs of food for Uniting, the community services organisation of the Uniting Church that delivers services and programs across Victoria and Tasmania. Uniting then distributed the food parcels to 25 local families that are struggling with the housing crisis and high cost of living in Australia.
The food drive was held as part of Project Rise, the Dawoodi Bohras’ global initiative to raise living standards among the most vulnerable members of society.
Presenting a certificate of appreciation, Fleur Smolenaers of Uniting for Food Drive thanked the Dawoodi Bohras for their kind donation to the homelessness and crisis service, adding, “At this time of year the demand for food and other material aid is always higher, as individuals and families alike who are homeless, or at risk of homelessness, struggle with meeting the cost of everyday living and the added pressure of providing the extra things we all like to enjoy at Christmas time. Uniting Ringwood is grateful for the ongoing support of the Dawoodi Bohras community. We couldn’t do what we do for our clients without the thoughtfulness and generosity of donors.”
Mustafa Poonawala of the Dawoodi Bohra community of Melbourne said, “The Dawoodi Bohras have always believed that nobody should go to bed hungry, and that is why – as part of Project Rise – members of our faith provide support food banks all over the world on a regular basis. I am grateful to our partners at Uniting for helping us to serve the homeless and hungry of Melbourne.”
The food drive was preceded by a toy drive in which gifts were collected among the Bohra’s community members and donated to the Eastern Emergency Relief Network for distribution to over 150 local children in underserved families.
Supporting the Dawoodi Bohras’ toy drive, Hon. Michael Sukkar, Federal Member for Deakin and Shadow Minister for Social Services, NDIS, Housing and Homelessness, said, “I want to thank the Dawoodi Bohra community of Melbourne for their generous support of the 2023 Deakin Christmas Giving Tree. These amazing donations will support local families who are profoundly struggling at this time of year, and is yet another example of the Dawoodi Bohra community of Melbourne’s commitment to helping others in need.”
Project Rise was launched in India to help alleviate hunger in some of the poorest parts of the country. Now, in partnership with government bodies and local organizations around the world, Project Rise spans a range of countries and policy areas, including healthcare, nutrition, sanitation and hygiene, environmental responsibility and conservation, and education.