Dubai: With many small businesses struggling to get back on their feet, UAE-based Instagram blogger Saher Iftikhar has created a donation initiative and she hopes many other bloggers follow suit. As a lifestyle and family personality, she receives numerous promotional packages from businesses around the UAE, and she was prompted to collect a charity donation.
“I began receiving many messages from people who are going through personal and financial issues due to COVID-19. So, two weeks ago I decided to use my platform and do my part,” says the mother of two. “I began encouraging my followers to support small businesses. Also, I’ve began collecting all promotional packages that I receive to start giving them to charity organisations.”
With Eid Al Adha occurring next month, Iftikhar’s first project within this initiative is to ensure that people who are struggling still received some gifts on the holiday, “As a lifestyle blogger, many of the items I am gifted by companies are clothes, make up and cosmetic products. These would be great charitable gifts in the weeks before Eid. We intend to approach Beit Al Khair Society with our collections.”
Iftikhar believes that individuals should all make an effort to support smaller businesses, “I encourage people to find homegrown businesses and support them. Instead of going to a branded bakery for example, you can find people who bake at home. We could simply shift where our purchases come from because the smaller places are the ones that are suffering right now.”
She advises prospective buyers to find these businesses on social media and support start-up businesses that could be an only source of income for some people.
To the blogging community
“I call to the blogging community that if you’re able, use your platform to help those struggling during this time. I’m a small blogger, many others have large followings and probably receive many promotional packages that they can pass on to charity as well,” she says.
With people adapting to a remote world, social media bloggers have become a massive influence on advertising, “While staying at home bloggers have become ambassadors for brands as well as salespeople who have an open interaction with buyers.”
She advises people on social media to use their platforms wisely, “If you can’t share charitable donations, then spread positivity and kindness instead. Even kind words are a form of generosity.”