A group of young Montrealers is delivering the goods they’ve collected during a holiday food drive, as they do every year.
But this year, the Ahmadiyya Muslim Youth Association is hoping their work will send a bigger message.
“Islam is all about peace and it’s all about brother hood and unity and love. Our main motto is love for all, hatred for none,” said Shoaib Shah, a member of the association.
The group says that message doesn’t always get through – it’s overshadowed by world events, from the terror attacks in Paris to the shootings in San Bernardino. They say they their faith calls for them to help others in need.
“Some people are working very hard in the name of Islam to damage it. We want to work twice as hard to save it,” said Faraz Ahmed, another member.
That’s why they spent the month of December going door-to-door collecting food and cash donations. What they got will buy up to about 3,400 lbs. of food, which will be donated to Share the Warmth food bank and the Chez Doris women’s day centre.
“We give approximately 75 food bags a month and so this will help us save funds and also try to stretch out the food for longer than just the month of January,” said Marina Boulos, director of Chez Doris.
Though many people who opened their doors had reservations and questions, the group had no problem engaging with them.
“Those were the conversations we actually wanted to have,” Ahmed said.
Those conversations ended up building bridges with people they wouldn’t normally come into contact with, and allowed them to collect dozens of boxes and bags of food.
It was a rewarding experience, they say, and a tradition they plan to continue.