The winter months mark some of the most challenging periods for those living in poverty. Frigid winter conditions cause death tolls amongst the vulnerable that greatly exceed deaths related to heat.
In fact, vulnerable populations are twice as likely to experience cold-related deaths. Why is the cold so devastating?
First of all, the harsh conditions of winter, including freezing winds, rampant snowfall, and frigid temperatures, become extremely hard to survive when a person does not have the means to warm themselves. This can be due to a lack of safe shelters, warm clothing, and reliable fuel sources.
The winter months also cause an increase in death tolls because of spikes in respiratory diseases, such as the flu. Vulnerable displaced people not only face a lack of healthcare to treat these diseases but may also face other afflictions simultaneously, like malnourishment, that further weakens their immune systems.
It is understood that poverty-stricken populations already face an inherent disadvantage in meeting their basic needs, but when the winter months approach, these disparities are further exasperated. Action must be taken, on a global level, to combat such injustice, and Zakat Foundation of America works tirelessly through its winter relief program to be a part of the change.
Zakat Foundation’s winter relief program is a service that runs through the winter season. Donations are collected to urgently provide kits to people at greater risk because of the cold. This includes flood-affected families in Pakistan, orphans in Nepal, and Rohingya refugees in India. Each kit is designed to support a family throughout the entirety of the winter season and may even be used for upcoming years if in stable condition.
With the distribution of winter fuel, wool gloves and scarves, jackets, bedding, and shoes, at-risk individuals and families can have the tools they need to protect themselves during the most challenging time of year. Pictured below are some of the distributions of these kits. The dispersal of goods is either spearheaded by Zakat Foundation itself, or by partners that operate within the communities in need. The opportunity to work directly within the communities of our fellow brothers and sisters from across the world is an incredible blessing and an opportunity to implement the service values we hold dear to our hearts as a Muslim global community.
Thanks to your generosity, and by the will of God, Zakat Foundation has doubled its total impact on vulnerable communities since last year, and donations are still being collected. That means you still have a chance to be a part of the change this winter season!
In fact, funding will continue to be collected until the harsh winter conditions subside, which can be as late as the end of March.
God states in the Quran 70:24 that “a portion of our wealth becomes a right upon others (to receive).” Enjoin in this special opportunity to engage in sadaqah (charity) to make this world more equitable. It may be easy to take our daily conveniences, like warmth, for granted. However, it is important we challenge ourselves and look to those that do not share such privileges. Inshallah, with efforts like this, we can continue to increase our faith by tending to the needs of those less fortunate than us. Please consider contributing however much you can to this blessed cause!
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In 2022, 91¢ from each dollar donated went directly toward programs serving those in need. 4¢ went to administrative costs & 5¢ went to fundraising costs.