x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 27 July 2017

Families in need given home appliances from walkathon funds

Money raised by the Beat the Heat Walkathon was used to buy new appliances for 20 families in need.

SHARJAH // The proceeds of a walkathon held earlier this month were put to good use this week when the organisers delivered new home appliances to 20 families in need.

The Beat the Heat Walkathon took place at Safa Park on June 4 and aimed to raise funds for families without appliances such as air-conditioning and fridges. The event raised Dh11,000 in donations, enough to buy 32 appliances, including 12 air-conditioning units, 10 fridges and 10 washing machines.

On Tuesday, 18 families received refrigerators and washing machines, and two more families received much-needed appliances yesterday. Air-conditioning units were also installed for those who needed them.

The walkathon was organised by three business students at Zayed University, Meerah Ketait, 21, Sarah Al Qassimi, 22, and Azza Al Nuaimi, 21.

"We had a walk for just 15 minutes, but the appliances these families received will stay with them for years," said Ms al Nuaimi. "So it's the least we can do."

The money raised went to support the Judran initiative by Sharjah Social Empowerment Foundation, a project that ensures families with orphans have everything they need in their homes.

"It's our obligation as locals to help families in need in the UAE," said Ms Ketait. "It is the minimum thing we can do to support them and provide them what we consider as a necessity but they might consider as a pleasure."

One of those who benefited from the walkathon funds was a mother of 11 children, who has lived in the UAE for 45 years and whose husband died two years ago. She is a Bidoon, or Arab without citizenship.

"It's very helpful," said the woman who received both a refrigerator and a washing machine and an air-conditioning unit. "I want to thank the young girls and I hope Allah rewards them with goodness."

Ms Ketait said the campaign, which was carried out as their final year project for a class in marketing, could not have happened without the support they received from Young Eager Steps, Sharjah Social Empowerment Foundation, and Haier electronics company.

Aamer Khan, the managing director of the electrical company that represents Haier products in the UAE, said their efforts had been a success.

"These young ladies carried out a real-life project that benefited the company and the community," he said.

aalhaddad@thenational.ae