Spreading cheer. Rajiv David (with guitar) leads a carol singing practice session at his Dubai home Image Credit: Clint Egbert/XPRESS

Dubai: As Christmas draws closer, the festive cheer has already arrived in many UAE homes with families busy buying gifts and preparing for the big day. As it turns out, the run-up to December 25 for some is also linked to a deeper cause.

60 families

Starting last Friday, about 60 families who call themselves the Jingles have been going from door to door singing Christmas carols over the weekends so that they can help raise funds for three ailing children in a public hospital.

“We are doing this initiative in association with the Emirates Red Crescent and will be visiting only those who want to host us,” said Rajiv David, a healthcare recruitment consultant who is spearheading the campaign.

He said the three beneficiaries of the funds being raised include a four-year-old Moroccan boy and a two-and-a-half-year-old Pakistani girl suffering from leukaemia, and an Indian infant, just over one, who desperately needs a kidney transplant.

The group which has been meeting regularly to practise the carols began its tour at an Al Qusais home on November 25.

Dressed in red with glittering caps on their heads and bright smiles on their faces, they set out from David’s Shaikh Zayed Road apartment in a big bus, an upgrade since the 2014 campaign when they went in a mini bus and raised over Dh300,000 for an accident victim requiring treatment.

Brief stopovers

David said the group, comprising young and old, will make a 15-20 minute stopover at each home over the weekends till Christmas Day. “We begin at around 1.30pm and return by 9.30pm. We sing 15-20 carols. Entire families take part in this initiative. We have children as young as three in the group,” he said.

He noted that the idea of giving them the exposure to such a drive would make them better human beings.

“In Dubai, it is difficult to find less privileged sections. Many families actually go to YouTube to give their children such exposure. By taking part in the carols, children understand the importance of reaching out to others.”

While David takes care of the music, his wife Jessica looks into the logistics. “Everyone does their bit and gives up their weekend commitments for this cause,” he added.