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Calgary charity organization continues providing local aid during COVID-19

The Calgary Ahmadiyya Muslim community runs Humanity First, a charity that continues to support aid to Calgarians in need.

The community took quick action to support fellow Calgarians Humanity First initiated a neighborhood helper campaign back at the start of the during COVID-19.

Imran Rajpoot Calgary’s local representative for Humanity First said that Humanity first has always kept close relations with the community.

“The charity maintains active communication with their community, not just in times of disaster,” said Rajpoot.

Hotline helping struggling Calgarians

The Ahmadiyya community in Calgary stepped in to help the families in need. A hotline was developed by the organization, where people could call and volunteers would respond.

Places of worship had been locked down, making it difficult for Humanity First to set up aid since the mosque was a meeting hub.

The hotline enabled Humanity First volunteers to respond more effectively from their own homes while at the same time following government guidelines.

Diallers to the hotline number connected them to Humanity First. Respondents would inquire what they required from there, whether it was to provide deliveries from grocery stores or pharmacies. Volunteers were asked at all times to disinfect all packaging and to wear masks and gloves.

This process took place all across the country, thus far 3,550 families have been served in Canada alone, according to Rajpoot.

Handling COVID-19’s after effect

From the time the Ahmadiyya group arrived in Calgary, they had with them Humanity First. Before COVID-19 members of the Ahmadiyya community were regularly contributing to their food bank. In the first phase of the COVID-19 assistance, foodbank funds collected were distributed out to families.

The next step for Humanity First will be partnering up with emergency services said Rajpoot.

“To let them know we can assist, particularly where their roles finish. We have volunteers on standby ready.  But on a day-to-day basis keeping active at local levels will keep us ahead of current affairs so we can react as necessary,” said Rajpoot.

Unfortunately, there is no blueprint for the aftermath of COVID 19.  The mental well-being of the public may be an issue.

“What we do know is we will always be there in whatever capacity required,” said Rajpoot.

A volunteer community

Volunteering with Humanity First is not only limited to members of the Ahmadiyya Muslim community. Volunteers from all communities are welcomed with the primary purpose of serving the vulnerable

“Our purpose is to serve humanity and put their needs before our own. As long as you fill those virtues,” said Rajpoot.

Rajpoot said being a charity, which is 100 per cent reliant on volunteer help and 95 per cent on donated funds, the focus is being constantly in contact with community leaders who can give the latest information on areas of most need.

There’s been positive feedback for the neighbourhood helper program. While people still stay in their homes, Humanity first is actively still helping others.