This year for Ramadan, we hosted our inaugural #GIVTAR by CivicMuslims in support of Give 30, an initiative that raises funds for food banks across Canada. #GIVTAR, a special iftar to resurface the cornerstones of Ramadan: gratitude, reflection, self and community growth, raised money for three local food banks: the Daily Bread Food Bank, North York Harvest and the Mississauga Food Bank.
With empty stomachs yet eager minds, our #GIVTAR guests joined us at the beautiful Centre for Social Innovation in Regent Park. The crowd took their seats anticipating keynote reflections from Ziyaad Mia, Founder of Give 30, and Gerard Kennedy, Former Executive Director of the Daily Bread Food Bank and Give 30 Ambassador.
Mia kicked things off by sharing Give 30’s story and vision – inspiration at its finest. Kennedy shared his experiences from his tenure at the Daily Bread Food Bank. He continued by expressing his enthusiasm for Give 30 and the critical importance of collectively fighting hunger as a community in Toronto.
As dusk fell, the call to prayer was given, indicating that it was time to break fast. Tables were lined with plates full of dates, scrumptious samosas and mason jars filled with refreshing water. Gratitude filled the room and eyes wandered to see if everyone was breaking their fast in unison, and before you knew it, dates were lifted to lips and fasts were broken. Seventeen days down, thirteen to go.
By mid evening, we were ready to revel in our dinner, catered by the lovely Somethin’ 2 Talk About and Paramount Fine Foods. Stunning displays of veggie curry, grilled pear salad, lime chipotle chicken and rice dishes embellished the tables.
The night continued with a silent auction for the Give 30 campaign, allowing guests to bid on unique gems such as local calligraphy artwork, books and fair trade coffee. Needless to say, all of the items were scooped up by the end of the night!
As the night was wrapping up, dessert made its way out and we held an official cake cutting ceremony, with Mia and Kennedy. Comedic banter and iPhone camera flashes in full swing!
Conversations continued to bustle, new friendships permeating, and the Ramadan spirit exuberantly manifesting into the late hours of that warm Saturday evening. What an unforgettable evening it was.
By the numbers:
54 wonderful guests x $ 7,926 in funds raised x 3 GTA food banks x 2 incredible keynote reflections x 6 silent auction delights x 5 balloons that spelt GIVAR (the T was missing, long story!)
an unforgettable #GIVTAR affair
Until next year!
CivicMuslims encourages you to share in this cause and cheer others to donate by promoting the #GIVTAR hashtag with your social media networks! You can also find Give 30 on Facebook and Twitter to stay informed on their other initiatives this Ramadan. Share the love, spread the goodness.