UAE: Year of giving begins with a bang

Community initiative raises over Dh426,000 for three ailing kids through carol singing. XPRESS readers thanked for their ‘love, support and generosity’

  • One for the record. Jingles members (in red) and Mohammad Abdullah Al Haj Al Zaroni strike a pose for XPRESS wImage Credit: Zarina Fernandes/XPRESS
  • Jingles members with a heap of ‘get well’ cards handcrafted by children for young patients Hassan, Hamza and EImage Credit: Zarina Fernandes/XPRESS
  • Mohammad Abdullah Al Zaroni, manager, Emirates Red Crescent, has lauded the work done by JinglesImage Credit: Zarina Fernandes/XPRESS
XPRESS

Dubai: In a heartening community initiative, a group of UAE residents has begun the Year of Giving with a bang by raising over Dh426,000 through cheer and carol singing for three ailing children, a record feat for which they are thankful to XPRESS readers and UAE residents.

As the group which calls itself Jingles, its beneficiaries and families gathered at the Emirates Red Crescent office in Al Garhoud for a special photo shoot for XPRESS on Tuesday, its founder Rajiv David said, “The Jingles team would like to thank XPRESS for its support throughout our journey with its timely and informative articles. It helped us greatly in spreading awareness about our cause and reaching our goals for the children. A big thank you to XPRESS readers for your love, support and generosity.”

XPRESS first wrote about the Jingles in a cover story published on December 19, 2012 when they launched and took up the cause of an accident victim Sunil Pinto. The group was featured again on December 3, 2014 when it embarked on a mission to save Ismail, Daudjan and Ammar, three kids suffering from leukemia, by singing carols in the run-up to Christmas. Subsequently, they managed to raise Dh333,000 in 10 days of singing. The trio were well on the road to recovery when the Jingles set out to save three more kids – Hassan, Emica and Hamza, patients of leukemia and HUS or Hemolytic-Uremic Syndrome (an acute kidney condition) – ahead of last Christmas. XPRESS again was the first to report the story on November 30, 2016.

The inspiring campaign was launched under the umbrella of the Emirates Red Crescent and Islamic Affairs Charitable Activities Department. Comprising 65 residents, including children as young as two and adults over 55 years, the Jingles left their chores, cancelled birthday parties and barbecues to hire a bus and visit homes of friends to sing carols over the weekends.

Overwhelming response

David said the response from residents who shared the Jingles’ passion to give the children their best shot at life was overwhelming.

“Friends and colleagues invited us into their homes and offices for singing carols and donated towards the cause. In 2014, we had a target of Dh300,000, but raised Dh333,000 in 10 days. 

"This time again, Dubai residents were extremely welcoming and generous towards the cause and helped Jingles exceed its target of Dh400,000 by donating Dh426,050. We sincerely thank every person who contributed - they are the great hearts of Dubai who felt the pain of the three children and their parents.”

Emirates Red Crescent, which will hand over the money to the young beneficiaries, is all praise for the Jingles.

Mohammad Abdullah Al Haj Al Zaroni, manager, Emirates Red Crescent, said, “Music is the spirit of life. We are thankful for the donations and to this community of hardworking and honest people. We wish them luck and hope they will continue their mission every year.”

He said the money would be of great help for the families of the three children who are being treated at a Dubai hospital.

The families cannot agree more. Sarfaraz Masih, father of Emica, 3, who has been diagnosed with leukamia, said, “This has been such a blessing. It was becoming difficult for me to raise the money for her treatment.” Masih said Emica has undergone four sessions of chemotherapy since her diagnosis in June 2016 and looked forward to her recovery with further treatment.

Mohammad Azeem, father of one-year-old Hamza, said, “My son has been diagnosed with HUS. I am really appreciative of the help we have received. I would like to thank everyone involved in the initiative.”

The father of Hassan, 4, said, “Helping kids overcome illness is noble. I thank the community that came to our aid from the bottom of my heart.”

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