Keeping Families Cozy and Warm This Winter

Freezing temperatures every winter can cause health problems that make it difficult for people to make it through the winter. Family breadwinners struggle to afford warm clothes or heaters after spending on their children and spouse’s food and shelter.

Zakat Foundation of America (ZF) believes shelter and warmth are human rights, which is why the seasonal Winter Kit Distribution program continued again this year. Thanks to the generosity of donors such as yourself, ZF was able to help keep 5,585 beneficiaries warm in four countries in Asia: Afghanistan, India, Nepal, and Pakistan.

ZF’s Pakistan offices distributed quilts, mattresses and pillows to 930 individuals split almost equally between Gilgit Baltistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. One beneficiary said he expects the quilt and mattress to last him four years, adding that his family would wear old and used clothes rather than winter jackets because of their financial situation.

Your donations also helped ZF support about 8,600 beneficiaries in six Middle Eastern countries: Turkey and Syria, Jordan, Lebanon, Iraq, and Palestine. ZF’s Turkey office distributed 400 blankets to 400 families in Aleppo and covered 3,500 people with winter jackets. The Turkey office also distributed 500 winter jackets to Syrian refugees and local poor families living in Gaziantep, Hatay, Kilis, and Sanliurfa.

ZF distributed hats, jackets, gloves, scarves and sweat suits to more than 950 beneficiaries throughout various locations in Jordan.

ZF also provided 250 electric heating kits in Lebanon and 200 winter kits to more than 1,200 beneficiaries in Kirkuk, Iraq.

The Batah family in Kirkuk lives off expired foods that the father would bring home after work at a local grocery shop. The mother told ZF staff during a visit after the distribution process that they would usually sleep without having dinner and would cover their 10 kids with plastic sheets during winter because they didn’t have blankets. Now, the kids sleep together, covered with blankets ZF provided.

Mrs. Batah’s youngest child said, “From now on, we will feel warm when we sleep inside the structure.”

ZF is also pending on a project in Mosul with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) to provide 3,320 beneficiaries with winter kits consisting of a heating stove, a jerry can for diesel fuel, and a jerry can for water.

In Palestine, 275 families (about 1,375 individuals) received kits consisting of blankets, coats, gloves, shoes, hats, and socks.

ZF’s winter kit distribution aims to alleviate the sufferings of vulnerable communities and enhance community cohesion through distributing winter kits. Along with distributing warm clothes, blankets and electric heaters, ZF’s Afghanistan office distributed more than 615 pounds of dry wood for 235 beneficiaries to burn for warmth.

These people would not have been able to receive such support without donations. Beneficiaries struggle without ZF’s programs. Often they don’t have clothes meant to withstand winter winds and temperatures, or they don’t have adequate heating options. It’s because of donors like you that ZF was able to provide warmth to more than 14,100 individuals this winter.