Time Out Kids UAE

Pay it forward

11 ways the whole gang can give back to the community

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There’s a popular school of thought that the best path to happiness is to be of service to others. If you’re looking to make a more positive contributi­on (or already do so but are looking for a new good cause), the UAE has several organisati­ons that would welcome your time and input.

And what better time to teach the kids about giving back and paying it forward than during Ramadan?

So here are some brilliant charitable things to do to spread some kindness and teach the little ones compassion and empathy.

Adopt or foster an animal

In the past year, one of the results of the pandemic has been the high number of abandoned pets owing to job losses and salary cuts, while volunteers who usually foster animals were unable to do so due to financial constraint­s. This means that the emirate’s shelters have seen a surge in the animals they’ve taken in, straining their resources. If you can adopt or foster one, there are many shelters who can use the help. → Open Sat-Thu 7.30am-2pm. www.dm.gov.ae

(04 289 1114).

Buy a face mask and donate another

Buy a mask from One Good Thing and do something good (as the name suggests) at the same time. Every time you buy one of their fabric face mask packs, you will get one free to donate to someone in need. Plus, 50 percent of each pack is made from fabric off-cuts that would otherwise be destined for landfill so not only are you helping someone in need, you are also doing your bit to save the environmen­t. But that’s not all because the eco-friendly company has a partnershi­p with Emirates Environmen­tal Group and Goumbook that means parents and schools buying face coverings can give back to their community by planting trees on school grounds. The aim of the project is to remind pupils in the coming years of the events of 2020 and the growing importance of looking after the natural heritage of the UAE. The newlydesig­ned face coverings will feature doublelaye­red breathable cotton, a pocket to insert a surgical mask if needed, soft fabric insides, machine washable and reusable material, soft material loops round the ears, additional neck strap to prevent children from losing their mask (attached with Velcro for safety) and name tags. The coverings will also come in five different colours, all to match the colours of the school.

→ From Dhs95 for a pack of four. www.one-goodthing.com.

Choose a charity and donate

YallaGive is the first licensed online donation and crowdfundi­ng platform in the Middle

East supporting over 123 charities. There are literally hundreds of campaigns you can choose from each month all split up into various categories including humanitari­an and relief, health and medical, social and community as well as environmen­t and nature. All you have to do is find one that resonates with you the most and donate. Easy. → www.yallagive.com.

Give Blood at Dubai Blood Donation Centre

Accredited by the American Associatio­n of Blood Banks since 2012, this is the main blood donation centre in Dubai and works towards providing an adequate supply of blood to all Dubai Health Authority and private hospitals in the city. However, COVID-19 has resulted in a drop in donations as we move into the second year of the pandemic. If you fit the criteria, you could be saving a life.

→ Open Sun-Thu 7.30am-7pm. dha.gov.ae (800 342).

Donate to Emirates Red Crescent

Establishe­d in 1983, the Emirates Red Crescent is a humanitari­an organisati­on that supports official authoritie­s in varying endeavours. Regardless of your available time or resources, you can help the Emirates Red Crescent either through donations or volunteeri­ng with them. Informatio­n is available on the website or through their app, which is available for Android.

→ Open Sun-Thu 8am-3pm. www.rcuae.ae/en

(800 733).

“What better time to teach the kids about giving back than during Ramadan?”

Feed a hungry family

nefsy, a food app with a heart, has launched in the UAE and it’s the first app worldwide that helps with world hunger. Almost one billion people sleep hungry every night and

nefsy is combating this global issue with its revolution­ary app. It’s simple to use with no donations, no subscripti­ons fees, no surcharges and no hidden fees. All you need to do is dine out at your favourite restaurant­s, enjoy exclusive discounts, and with every meal sold, a meal is shared to someone in need. All the meals are discounted up to 35 percent meaning you can save money, all while saving lives and there are 1000s of discounts to enjoy across 100s of brands and outlets including Urban Seafood, The Fit Food Kitchen, The Hummus House and The Dubai Mall’s Café Blanc. The concept ‘buy a meal, share a meal’ is simple – for example if you order a salad, coffee, main course and dessert, each dish equals one meal to feed a hungry person. Order four items and four people will get fed. You eat, they eat – get the gist?

→ nefsy is in associatio­n with the Islamic Affairs & Charitable Activities Department, Emirates Red Crescent and the Government of Dubai, www.nefsy.com. You can download the app for free on the app store and Google Play.

Help a local family in need

You’ll have heard of book swaps and clothing exchanges, but how about a kindness exchange? Stop and Help launched in March 2020 and its key concepts, according to its website, are: “Being inclusive, showing courage, caring without limitation, respecting everyone and giving a voice to the voiceless.” The idea behind the kindness exchange is simple, to match people in need with people who can help them. All you have to do is complete a form online to register to intent to help and wait for someone to get back to you telling you all about the family (all of whom are based in the UAE) you have been matched with. The idea is that you then spend a minimum of Dhs250 on essentials that the family need. Alternativ­ely, you can choose to help four different families out over a fourweek period. Best of all, the family, or families, that you have helped will get in touch, to let you know exactly what effect your act of kindness has had on them.

→ Minimum Dhs250. www.stopandhel­p.ae.

Shop from local farmers at the Business Bay farmers market

Straight from the farm to your kitchen, nothing quite beats cooking up fresh organic food – especially when you’re supporting the local community in the process. Taking place at

Bay Avenue Park every Friday between 9am and 2pm until Friday April 9, the Farmers

Souq initiative aims to support the UAE’s agricultur­al sector and producers by offering farmers an opportunit­y to reach customers directly. There are 20 different stalls to check out and marketgoer­s will be able to pick up fresh fruit and veggies from local farmers, as well as herbs, spices, coffee, ice cream and more.

→ Fri 8am-2pm. Ongoing until Fri Apr 9. Bay Avenue Park, Business Bay.

Support The Dubai Foundation for Women and Children (DFWAC)

Establishe­d in 2007 to offer immediate services to victims of domestic violence, child abuse and human traffickin­g, the

DFWAC offers services that are in line with internatio­nal human rights obligation­s. If you would like to be involved, you can donate or help sponsor an event. Should you wish to volunteer and are highly skilled in educationa­l, vocational and / or recreation­al training, you can easily apply on the website.

→ Open Sun-Thu 8am-3pm. www.dfwac.ae

(04 606 0300).

Volunteer with Emirates Nature-WWF

For the past 20 years, Emirates Nature-WWF has worked to protect natural habitats through research and policy activities, engaging with the community through education programmes and raising awareness. There are many ways to get involved, either via assisting with fundraisin­g initiative­s or becoming a volunteer or even just making small changes in your day-to-day routine to live a more sustainabl­e life.

→ Open Sat-Thu 8am-5pm. www.emiratesna­turewwf.ae (04 354 9776).

Walk dogs with K9 Friends

Can’t commit to a plant let alone a dog, but love furry friends nonetheles­s? Volunteer with K9 Friends, which always has loads of adorable dogs that need walking. Fun for you, and them.

→ www.k9friends.com.

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Donate to Emirates Red Crescent

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