Poor kid
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Here are 12 ways to make a difference this Ramadan.

1. Stock up a Ramadan Sharing Fridge

A man takes food items from a sharing fridge in Dubai Image Credit: Supplied

Ramadan Sharing Fridges 2019 aims to start on the first day of Ramadan, with almost 100 fridges already registered and mapped out. What started as a one-off charity act by Australian expat Sumayyah Sayed in 2016, the Ramadan Sharing Fridges initiative has been getting bigger each year since. The fridge is managed by a donor or 'fridge manager', filled up with food and water contributed by donors living in the area. Aimed at workers and labourers who need sustenance at iftar, the fridges offer a means to get free food, juices and water. Find your neighbourhood fridge today and fill it up.

Check out their Facebook page for the location map: facebook.com/ramadansharingfridges

2. Build a perfect shoe box care package

Most labour workers in the UAE live away from their families for several months at a time and don’t have access to many of the basic needs that we take for granted. Volunteer your time without the help of any organizations and create several small (shoebox sized) care packages for them. Fill the care package with fresh toiletries, socks, phone credit recharge cards, dates, snacks and bottles of fresh clean water. Once your box is complete, keep a bunch of them handy, so whenever you leave your house and come across anyone on the side of the road, pull over and make someone’s day better.

3.  Distribute water

Buy a large box of local water and cool it down in your fridge. Right before the sunsets, head out to a construction site or an area where you know you will find lots of labourers and give away some water. 

4. Sponsor a child online

If you can't to find the time to get out there, you have the option of volunteering without leaving your house. Sponsoring a child involves being financially responsible for his or her educational expenses, sometimes extending to include living expenses too. The payment involved in such programs are in yearly, half yearly or monthly instalments of small amounts. Almost all sponsorship programs give you periodic school progress reports and other details about the child. Some programs also allow you to be in contact with your sponsored child.

International organisation swhich offer this program include World Vision, Save the Children and Compassion. Monthly payments start from US $30 (Dh110) per month which covers medical check-ups, food, basic education, health and hygiene training and mentoring, none of which would otherwise be accessible to these children.

5. SMS your Iftar donation 

Dar al Ber Society is a philanthropic and charitable organization based in Dubai. They make donating easy. It's 2019, you can SMS donations these days, by paying directly through your smart phone. It's usually a very affordable amount. Your Iftar donation can start at Dh20 and go all the way up to Dh200.

SMS the word Iftar to 6025 to donate Dh20 to a needy person.  

6. Donate your leftovers

Dubai Municipality runs campaigns every year to collect leftover food and distribute it to poor and needy families around the city. Combat food waste yourself by packing up your leftover foods. Take things further by calling the Food Control Department of Dubai Municipality, and asking about opportunities to volunteer by picking up the leftover food from people’s homes and restaurants, and distributing it to families and individuals in need. The transfer and packaging of food is handled in the safest and healthiest way possible with special vans to keep the food refrigerated. To find out more about volunteering opportunities, visit dm.gov.ae

7. Find a donation stand

Located in malls, supermarkets and even community areas, you can easily find a donation stand, to which you can pick and choose specific donations starting from Dh10. One of the common donation stands is by the Dar Al Ber Society has been implementing many charitable projects including building mosques and supervising them, digging wells, allocating endowments for charity, building orphanages, building schools and colleges to teach children, establishing libraries, facilitating Hajj and Umrah for the poor, Distribute Iftar meals and so much more.

Set aside Dh50 every week, and donate to three or four different charities.

8. Sign up to become a volunteer with Dubai Cares

Help improve the life of a child by increasing their access to quality primary education by volunteering your time to building and renovating schools and classrooms as well as improving water, sanitation and hygiene in schools, providing school feeding, deworming activities, early childhood education, as well as teacher training, curriculum development, literacy and numeracy. It’s easy to sign up! Simply visit dubaicares.ae/en/volunteer

9. Drink water, give water Oasis campaign

Oasis water has launched its largest Ramadan initiative to date. Throughout Ramadan, the “Drink Water Give Water” partnership with Dubai Cares will ensure that all profits from the sale of Oasis water go towards enabling 10,000 children to have access to clean drinking water. Anyone who buys Oasis water in Ramadan will actively be contributing towards the health and well-being of children in need, across developing countries.

Oasis has also committed 93,000 water bottles to the UAE Food Bank, for inclusion in their iftar boxes that will be distributed daily at various labor camps across the UAE. In order to ensure that all 93,000 iftar boxes are packed with food items, Oasis has set-up food donation points across various Lulu hypermarkets and other centres, where individuals can donate items for addition in the iftar boxes. In order make certain that the donation drive is well manned and executed, Oasis management and employees have committed their personal time and will be on-site, working with the UAE Food Bank to sort, pack and deliver the iftar boxes. With 3,000 boxes to be packed and distributed daily, additional volunteers are needed and most welcome to join.

10. Support Refugees

Ibn Battuta Mall has partnered with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) this Ramadan for Voices for Refugees, a campaign aimed at raising awareness on the plight of refugees globally. This mall activation is a part of the wider Voices for Refugees initiative by UNHCR dedicated to improving the lives of refugees, including women and children. Ibn Battuta Mall will also welcome 200 orphaned children throughout the Holy Month for a fun-filled day of shopping, entertainment and dining in association with Emirates Red Crescent and Rawafed Development & Learning Centre.

11. Donate your clothes

The ‘Share a Touch of Love’ campaign sees Dubai Retail and Unilever brands, Comfort and OMO, collaborate for the ninth annual edition of the nation-wide initiative, where UAE residents and tourists donate unwanted clothes at dedicated collection boxes in six Dubai Retail destinations and communities. All clothing items donated at collection boxes in Jumeirah Beach Residence (JBR), Bay Avenue, Bay Square, Mudon Community Centre, Al Khail Gate Community Centre and Shorooq Community Centre will then be washed using OMO and Comfort products before being distributed to those in need by Emirates Red Crescent. Every year, the ‘Share a Touch of Love’ campaign collects around 200,000 items of clothing, with collection boxes at Dubai Retail-managed locations contributing close to 25,000 male and female clothing items in 2018.

12. Drop off clothes and toys to the less fortunate

BurJuman is marking Ramadan with the UAE Red Crescent to support those less fortunate. Visitors can drop off pre-loved toys and clothes in good condition at the donation boxes available across the mall. Also, explore traditional activities that depict the culture and the importance of the month as well as commemorate the Year of Tolerance where people come together as one. From iftar to 10 pm each night during Ramadan, enjoy coffee and dates available at the main atriums and get hands adorned in henna art, younger members can explore their flair for creative arts at the Arts and Crafts Corner.