When Nisa Bano asked for volunteers to assemble packages of hygiene products to deliver to Saskatoon’s most vulnerable people, she received more offers of help than she could accommodate.
In order to comply with calls for physical distancing, Bano limited volunteers to five people.
“People want to be able to do anything they can to help others,” she says. “But we ask them to go and donate online because that helps us be able to build more kits for people and then they are helping without having to do anything that could be unsafe for anyone.”
Bano is the Saskatchewan coordinator for Islamic Relief Canada. The organization has been raising money online and using the funds to purchase hygiene products such as soap, shampoo, toothpaste and sanitary pads that will be packaged into kits and given to the families that need them most.
In Saskatoon, five volunteers donned gloves and gathered at the Islamic Association of Saskatchewan on Wednesday to put the kits together. They expected to make 250 kits for individuals and 200 kits for families that would be distributed to people who had asked Islamic Relief Canada for kits, and through the Lighthouse Supported Living centre and Salvation Army.
“We want to be able to be there for people who aren’t able to stay safe with just basic necessities,” Banos said. “We want to be able to give everyone what they need, especially at a crucial time right now, where each and every person’s safety is dependent on each other.”
Other chapters of Islamic Relief Canada are also putting kits of hygienic products together in other cities. Banos said enough funds have been raised for 5,000 kits to be made across the country and volunteers will make more as needed.