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In all honesty, I had never even considered running the Preston 10k before… The idea all came from the sweetest of sources… my son!
He asked me if I’d like to run with him in his school fun run – this is where the idea to run the Preston 10K was born. Initially I hadn’t intended to run for charity, though. Simply for my own benefit. But as soon as the idea of running for charity was presented to me, I knew instantly it was the right thing to do. Infact, running for charity came to mind during a conversation with a friend of mine who is part of the Preston Halaqah Sisters.
The Preston Halaqah sisters are a network of sisters who work with the local Islamic organisations to provide services for women and children. These include: exercise classes, educational classes, outings, activities, meals and many more community projects. They also provide a platform for other women to come forward and start their own projects. I started attending some of their classes earlier on this year. So when I mentioned that I was running the Preston 10K back in April this year, they suggested that we could start a charity project through the run, to support the orphans and widows in Palestine. The land of Palestine is close to the hearts of many of the ladies, so I was happy to support them in this project. We didn’t really know what to expect when setting everything up. There was every chance it could be a total failure! Thankfully, we managed to get the support of 26 incredible ladies who were willing to run the race in support of Palestine. An unbelievable achievement for me personally. I asked each and every one for their reasons on why they wanted to do this run for Palestine, and each one of them had a different and unique story to tell. If you’d like to find out more about their incredible stories, you can check them out on my personal blog: https://sullyssciencehub.wordpress.com
Of course, in order to raise money I first needed to raise awareness.
That’s why I decided to set up a JustGiving page. But, I also needed to actually choose which specific charity I would be raising money for. I eventually landed on the Ummah Welfare Trust as they are a reputable charity and have already provided us with feedback regarding how the donations have been used for this project, which is something every eager charity money raiser is keen to know. But I didn’t just want it all to be about me. That’s why I made sure the names of all the courageous women were featured on the JustGiving page. Then, it was a simple case of getting the word out. We sent the link to every single contact we could think of on social media, as well as spreading our message by word of mouth.
However, it was not just down to the power of social media that led to the huge number of donations. The real reason why we were able to raise such a huge sum of money is solely because the act of charity is absolutely central to the Muslim identity. Coupled with this, the land of Palestine and its holy sites are held in great reverence, and it is seen as an act of duty and reward to support the disadvantaged people in that land.
This is founded on the basis of the following quotes:
“you will not believe until you love for your brother what you love for yourself.”
“the believers are like one body in their mutual love and affection; if one limb is injured, the rest responds with sleeplessness and fever.” Prophet Muhammad
I am still in awe over how my son’s sweet suggestion led to the development of a major community project that brought together 26 powerful women from all different backgrounds, to run for this great cause. It was a simple story that unravelled unexpectedly into something rather wonderful.
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