GULFWEEKLY: Needy families across the kingdom are set to receive some Christmas joy this season as OneHeartBahrain kicks off its festive campaign, writes Julia Cassano.
Run by a group of volunteers, the drive urges people to donate a variety of items, which will be distributed to low-income families across Bahrain to support them and spread merry cheer during the month.
OneHeartBahrain is an unregistered, not-for-profit community organisation that aims to promote unity and social cohesion, giving back to life in the kingdom through goodwill campaigns.
“To illustrate the true essence of the festive season, we are encouraging the people of Bahrain to take part in spreading joy to families who may be going through a difficult time,” OneHeartBahrain founder Birthe van der Heijden told GulfWeekly.
While aiming to provide material aid during Christmas, Birthe added that giving families emotional support during the month was just as important.
“We want to ensure that families facing financial struggles in Bahrain know that they are not alone, and instead feel a sense of inclusion and belonging through our campaign,” Birthe explained.
“This is where it’s up to us as a community to come together to help those in need.”
People have been requested to donate non-perishable food items, toys and school supplies.
Rice, beans, canned foods, salt, spices, cooking oil, flour, tea, biscuits, sugar, snacks and milk can be donated, besides second-hand toys and games in good condition for those aged up to 18.
“We are also calling on the community to donate educational supplies for school children so that parents do not have to worry about the costs when the children go back to school,” she said.
Supplies including notebooks, pens, crayons and books, pencil cases, rulers, calculators are all much sought after.
And for families who cannot afford to send their children to school, OneHeartBahrain is asking for second-hand digital devices, as they can help children receive their education online, Birthe explained.
“Second-hand devices including old phones, tablets and personal computers that aren’t being used in someone’s home, could give less fortunate children access to online education,” she added.
Inspired by last year’s successful Festive Campaign, Birthe believes it is only right to do it again, to connect with Bahrain’s community in the spirit of love and giving.
“We witnessed families rejoice in the love and surprises that were sent their way; it was evident that by thinking beyond ourselves, we could create warmth and joy that transcends boundaries,” Birthe added.
The campaign runs until December 15.
For more information on how to donate, contact OneHeartBahrain via Instagram @oneheartbahrain or call 38417111.
Donations can also be dropped off at OneHeartBahrain’s stall at the Bahrain Rugby Club Festive Fair on December 9, from noon to 9pm.