When the Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) first received revelation, he was in shock over what had happened. Yet, when he told his beloved wife Khadijah (may Allah be pleased with her), she reassured him with the following words: “By Allah, Allah will never disgrace you. You keep good relations with your kith and kin, help the poor and the destitute, serve your guests generously and assist the deserving calamity-afflicted ones.” (Bukhari)
To emulate his example, the Islamic Education and Research Academy are launching our “Help the Homeless” Campaign. This project involves providing essential items that can go to help those who are impoverished or living on the streets, which will be in the form of a backpack filled with basic necessities.
This initiative is something that EVERY Muslim can get involved in, so we encourage everyone to follow in the example of our beloved Prophet (peace be upon him), by being active in society and helping those in need.
With your support, we have purchased a number of branded backpacks specifically designed for this campaign, and we want YOU to get involved to distribute them to the homeless and needy within your area.
1: GET READY
- Contact your local homeless shelter – inform them that you are from the local Islamic organisation and that the local community would like to help the homeless by providing and distributing backpacks full of essential items. Find out what information they need from you to go ahead with this project.
- Contact the One Community department to order your backpacks.
- Finalise with the local homeless shelter what day you will bring a team and for distribution and where (sometimes they have locations onsite in city centre, where many homeless people gather).
- Utilise your Social Media links to invite local Muslims to come and take part, even if it is just to help sponsor or fund the project. This includes marketing the activity via posters in masjids and shops or leaflet distribution after jumm’ah (See Help the Homeless – Poster and Flyer)
- Purchase necessary items or encourage others to donate items to you (see Items list).
- Once items have been collected, fill the bags accordingly.
- Reach out to the media with a Press Release and approach local journalists (see Help the Homeless Press Release Template for guidance).
- Make sure you are ready to get the right kind of footage throughout the activity (see Media and Footage guidance)
2: TAKE ACTION
- Meet at a designated meeting point. The Team Leader should deliver a brief of what the activity consists of.
- Work in pairs and engage with people. Take the lead from those you are collaborating with. Inform the beneficiaries that you are from the local Islamic organisation and the Muslim community came together to help fill these backpacks with items that they may find helpful. The reason is because “this is what Islam teaches us – to help those who need it the most”.
- Include literature in the backpack and the Help the Homeless leaflet
- Request video feedback from resident or a picture.
- Continue to do this until you have run out of backpacks!
- Get formal feedback interviews with beneficiaries, team volunteers and with organiser (see Media and Footage guidance for full details)
3: FOLLOW UP
- Once you have completed the activity, assemble the team together and get a brief feedback from them all.
- Footage is pivotal because through it, we can motivate Muslims across the UK (and potentially the world!) to do the same activity.
- Upload videos and pictures onto social media using hashtags #HelpTheHomeless, or email our media department (media@iERA.org). We will give you access to our Dropbox to upload the footage and we will also edit the video for you.
4: CAMPAIGN TOOLS
Download the following free tools to run the ‘Help the Homeless’ campaign in your local area:
- Media + Footage Guidelines
- Template Press Release (to send to your local media)
- T-Shirt Design
- Help the Homeless leaflet
- Campaign logos and posters (for social media)
- Help the Homeless Backpacks
- Toiletries/ brush/comb
- Sanitary items (females)
- Hand wipes/cleansing wipes
- Long life snack bars
- Help the Homeless leaflet