Helping Newcomers Feel Welcome & Connected
Many of New Circles’ clients and donors come from Toronto’s Muslim community. Eid al-Fitr is one of the most significant holidays in the Muslim calendar. Occurring on July 5 this year, this holiday marks the end of Ramadan, the Islamic holy month of fasting. Families celebrate Eid by breaking their fast with a celebratory meal, engaging in spiritual observance, and undertaking acts of charity. Our Giving for Eid program offers an opportunity to directly support families who may not otherwise have the opportunity to mark this occasion, because of financial and other barriers.
Through Giving for Eid, donors are matched with families in need, and provide gifts of much-needed supplies and food so that those families may prepare and enjoy a celebratory meal. Since the program’s inception in 2013, 100 households (comprising over 400 individuals) have received Eid baskets, and the number of donors has increased over 80% in the four years since the program began. Sixty per cent of our Eid donors are from Toronto’s Muslim community.
This year, more than 100 individuals from 28 recipient families were matched with 22 donors, providing food supplies, household items and other basic necessities that enabled these families to participate fully in the holiday.
According to a former donor, preparing a basket for Eid “adds a layer of humility and profoundness to our Ramadan.” For recipients, the experience creates meaningful personal connections for families who may be new to Canada and experiencing social and cultural isolation. According to one recipient, “this year, we felt like we [were] alone here, as all of our relatives and closest [loved] ones live back in our country. We don’t have anyone here in Canada. Receiving the baskets makes my family [feel] like we have someone here.”
Many thanks to our generous donors (including Sunny Foodmart, Tropical Treets, Brands for Life and the Diaper Bank), the Ansaar Foundation for their financial support, and our volunteers who helped to deliver the baskets.