Last weekend, CivicMuslims hosted its Second Annual #GIVTAR event - an iftar benefit in support of the Give 30 campaign. Every Ramadan, Give 30 raises funds for food banks across Canada. This year is an especially important year for Give 30 as they are nearing their $500,0000 mark of funds raised since the organization’s inception in 2012.
On June 18th, CivicMuslims was proud to support three local food banks through Give 30: the Daily Bread Food Bank, The Mississauga Food Bank and North York Harvest Bank. What’s great about #GIVTAR is that each individual guest can select the food bank they would like to support upon purchasing their iftar ticket – and net proceeds from all tickets went directly to the respective food bank.
This year, #GIVTAR planning kicked into high speed two weeks prior to the event. Needless to say, it was crunch time! We held a Volunteer Kick-Off Meeting and gathered individuals from all across the GTA to help us plan and support this year’s event. Folks from all walks of life joined to help make #GIVTAR bigger and better this year. Two weeks later: we were sold out for our special iftar event!
On that warm Saturday evening, our guests trickled into the Centre for Social Innovation in Regent Park. With one hour to go until iftar, we were honoured to welcome our keynote speaker for the evening, Canadian producer, director, actor and Give 30 Ambassador, Zaib Shaikh. Shaikh shared some inspiring and beautiful words on the value of giving. He spoke on the beauty of diversity: diversity in our own city of Toronto, diversity in perspective and diversity in faith and culture. “I’m not a real imam, just one made for TV”, he joked. The crowd ensued in laughter. Shaikh peppered his keynote with brilliant insight, humour and authenticity. We loved it.
Ziyaad Mia, founder of Give 30, took the stage following Shaikh’s keynote. Mia shared his vision and story for Give 30. It was an inspiring narrative to hear from the founder himself. Working with Mia to plan #GIVTAR was a treat for the CivicMuslims team.
As dusk fell, guests reached for juicy dates and glasses of water. Following the breaking of the fast, Shaikh and Mia gathered for the customary cake cutting ceremony (we like to make things official, CivicMuslims style!). #GIVTAR volunteers joined in on the photo, and we proceeded to make our way for Maghrib prayer.
Following prayer, guests lined up for dinner, catered graciously by Somethin’ 2 Talk About. Fresh green salads, peri peri grilled chicken, delectable vegetable and chickpea curries and fluffy rice plated each guest’s dish. The food was absolutely delicious.
Throughout the evening, we had a silent auction with some fantastic gems donated by local entrepreneurs and organizations. We are thankful to Hafsa Creates, Studio 89 and Salam Shop for their support. Who doesn’t love fair trade coffee, delectable gummies and a fine piece of art? Sign me up.
The night was in full swing: conversations captivated the room, and the accompanying patio. You had to be there to see it – the room was full of energy! It was such a beautiful reminder of our different communities, and the ways in which we are all interconnected.
Thank you to all our wonderful partners, friends and supporters for #GIVTAR.
If you were unable to attend this year’s #GIVTAR, don’t fret – it’s not too late to support Give 30. In these last 10 days of Ramadan, we encourage you to visit Give 30’s website, and learn more about each food bank. Help us support those in need this Ramadan. Until next year, all!
By the Numbers:
75 guests x 1 insightful keynote speech x countless beautiful conversations x one very meaningful iftar event
An evening of giving and gratitude.