In a small office in Colwood this week, hundreds of envelopes sat waiting on a table, while Mohammad-Madhi Allouche and his wife Stephanie added to the pile.
The couple have turned their Ramadan fast into a fundraising endeavour, all to benefit Victoria’s homeless population, which is near and dear to Mohammad’s heart.
“There’s this same epidemic of poverty, and these experiences where there’s no light at the end of the tunnel, so we thought it was a very powerful way to connect the two and show that we are all connected in this way as well,” Mohammad said.
Each envelope carries a simple message. Eid Mubarak means blessed celebration and represents the 30th and final day of the Muslim holy month.
Mohammed and Stephanie fast for 16 hours each day, and can only break their fast after sunset each day. While it might be tough, Stephanie is philosophical about the process.
“Sixteen hours of fasting a day and you go through periods of time where it’s tough, and then you sort of have to remind yourself that there are people each and every day that don’t have that option of not getting through it,” Stephanie said.
The pair are not strangers to helping those in need. Two years ago, they teamed up with The Mustard Seed to offer a pizza lunch on Valentine’s Day. It was all to spread a little love, and during the COVID-19 pandemic, Mohammad wants to help as many people as he can.
“We’re not there to judge. It’s beyond that. It’s just to show you know people facing poverty and those facing homelessness and experiencing that right now that we see them and we feel them and that we just want to give them that.”
After Ramadan ends on Saturday, Mohammad and Stephanie will go around downtown handing out their envelopes filled with $10 bills to bring some joy and a bit of relief to those hit hardest during the COVID-19 pandemic.
To donate to their cause, visit Something 4 Humanity on Facebook and send Mohammad and Stephanie a message.