That’s all folks!

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One of the hardest but also most valuable lessons I’ve learned in my leadership journey is when to quit.

As the project grew from strength to strength I found myself feeling overwhelmed by its enormity. It started becoming apparent that we were no longer “just a group of volunteers” coming together to “do some good”. Instead we were fast evolving into an organisation with meaning and impact. We were starting to command a following in the community that I hadn’t previously experienced. There is, was and always will be, so much to be proud of.

The decision to call it quits at this stage probably makes little to no sense.

Balancing the demands of the project with the needs of the team started to become unsustainable. Another thing weighing on my mind was the fundamentals. Things like a governance framework that held us legally accountable, the dissolution of the HFB parent body, and lack of funds to keep us in premises long term were all issues too big to ignore. The idea was always to get to a place where we could self fund and become sustainable but this goal demanded a commitment most of the team was unable to contribute.

But it wasn’t for lack of trying. God knows we tried!

To really do the project justice we needed staff, and an office space and a phone line and a website and a business model. When you start looking at the size of effort required to achieve those things, or to even make a start on them you’ll appreciate that some of that just couldn’t be achieved by a team of people, passionate as we were, but otherwise committed to other full time pursuits.

In an ideal world, a bunch of us could’ve quit our jobs, developed a business model for a social impact organisation, pitched it to a group of social entrepreneurs, won the funding dollars needed to re-brand and gone full time into running our social impact enterprise.

Right now is not our ideal world.

So the question on everyone’s minds wasn’t what next, it was, How next?

We did what we always do. Weigh up the pros and cons and started looking at alternatives. One option was to disband the team and support community packing days for interested groups. This quickly lost favour as we realised that the strength of the project was in its continuity.

The option we settled on was one that afforded us the most safety. We opted to extend our existing partnership with Muslim Aid Australia such that the same good work could continue under their banner. This would take care of two of the three bugbears holding us back as HFB.

So that is exactly what we did.

It is with honour that I introduce you to the Community Food Hamper (CFH) project. Led by ex HFB member Faran Ahmed and supported by a whole bunch of the HFB team and our awesome patrons, the Muslim Aid Australia team.

There is no doubt in my mind that this project will exceed the success of Halal Food Bank – Perth. There is much excitement and anticipation for things to come.

Be sure to like their page and start showing some love to the CFH team. You know what they can achieve with your support!

And while you’re there, check out the other projects supported by Muslim Aid Australia. They also do some cool things around the way 🙂

Thanks for everything Perth. It’s been an honour serving you.

From all of us at Halal Food Bank – Perth.

Farewell and we will see you at the next CFH packing day! 🙂

 

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OSSWA for HFB! | Community Packing Days

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Our community packing days are proving to be incredibly diverse.

From school initiatives (Langford Islamic College), to family affairs (Sumaiyah’s), to community functions (Indonesian Community), these packing days have even found their way into Australian universities!

When Wael from OSSWA contacted HFB to organise a packing within their student association, the excitement was real.

After all, HFB used to live on university campuses in the form of collection points!

The Omani Students Society in Western Australia (OSSWA) is a non-profit organisation and is the premier representative body of all Omani students at Curtin University of Technology, Murdoch University, the University of Western Australia, Edith Cowan University, Central Institute of Technology and Canning College.

This team of students followed suit with previous community packing days by kicking into gear and collecting the donations they would eventually pack.

Come their packing day, OSSWA had collected and packed an amazing 26 boxes!

It was truly a special packing day when these students came together early on a Sunday morning to see their hard work move through the final stages in packing. Since then, we’ve had OSSWA members come down to regular packing days to see the usual chaos in action.

As you’ll notice by the brilliant photos on this post, this packing day had the privilege of hosting Rhiyaad Kahn as the photographer!

Rhiyaad took some time out on a Sunday morning to get these wonderful shots of the OSSWA Community Packing Day in action:

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Rhiyaad is a Chartered Accountant by day who dabbles in photography, water sports and travel amongst various other hobbies. He’s been involved in projects such as the Refu-G ME Project with Shameema Kolia and Hamza Cakan, as well as being the Treasurer for the UN in WA.

It was an added bonus having Rhiyaad present at the OSSWA packing day, for both the good vibes and knowing how to get everyone’s good side.

When asked what inspires him to get involved in community initiatives, Rhiyaad said he gives back because of the abundance of blessings in his life, alhamdulillah.

If you would like to host your own community packing day OR if you would like to get involved with HFB in a freelance capacity, hit us up now: hfbperth@gmail.com!

 

Sixty Four at Sumaiyah’s! | Community Packing Days

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It’s not enough to ask you to take our word for it that awesome people are doing awesome things in Perth. That’s why we’re kicking off our Community Packing Day spotlight series with Sumaiyah & her crew – our biggest collection and gathering to date!

Sumaiyah found out about hosting a Community Packing Day through our June newsletter (plug, plug: sign up for our newsletter).

“We were sitting at a friend’s daughter’s wedding and thought up the idea then. We wanted to get together to do something good and sent an email [to HFB] right then and there.”

Sumaiyah along with her family and friends held a community Eid dinner where they raised a whopping $330 for the project!

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She continued raising funds after that event through her networks, aiming to donate 30 boxes worth of food.

However, come their packing day, they had collected enough donations for 64 boxes! That’s over a thousand dollars worth of food!

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Words can’t express how wonderful it was to hear from Sumaiyah and her team as well as attend their little backyard packing day.

Sumaiyah’s family has now pledged to donate 10 boxes per month for the project, bringing the initiative into their home on an ongoing basis.

HFB-Perth would like to send a massive thank you and shout out to Sumaiyah and her crew for all of their efforts and contribution!

YOU can also host your own packing day with your family and friends – get in touch with us today to find out how: hfbperth@gmail.com

 

Get Your Community Packing On!

You’re all probably pretty familiar with the iconic HFB packing day. You rock up to our premises early on a Sunday morning, we all rush around packing food into boxes, we usually eat an unhealthy amount of cupcakes, we tape up and get out of there.

But 2017 has brought the cupcakes, tape and packing day to you!

(Well, cupcakes are BYO.)

Wonderful little pockets of our Perth community have been getting in touch all year to host their own Community Packing Days with their family and friends. We’ve even had teachers get their students and schools to fundraise, collect and pack their very own food boxes.

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Zainab is our Community Liaison Officer, a link between the community and the project. 

“As a community liaison officer I help to facilitate the conversation with community members and groups on how they can engage with the project based on their capacity and circumstances.”

She has contributed to the organisation of every packing day in 2017 so far and has experienced the event firsthand.

“Hosting your own packing is a great way to get together with your community with a greater purpose all while having fun. It allows you to take ownership of the project and make it your own.”

Our Coordinator, Maryam, has had the privilege of seeing this project develop since its inception in Perth.

“Community Packing Days are a huge boost to the project. They help us see how far we’ve come on this journey and it feels really rewarding that the community are picking up this idea and making it their own.”

Community Packing Days have also helped us achieve a project goal which is to raise awareness of HFB’s cause. 

“It shows that people are starting to talk about issues like poverty in Australia over their dinner tables and being prompted to do something about it. It also shows that everyday people can do extraordinary things.”
~ Maryam

Community packing days have empowered our communities to step forward and take on the initiative to give back and better the society in which they live and we couldn’t be more proud to be a part of that.

If you would like to host a packing day with your family and friends, do not hesitate to get in touch with us at hfbperth@gmail.com!

 

Eid Cards 2017

The HFB Eid cards are back for 2017!

2017-06-08_collage_other entries3 (final).jpgFor the past three years, we have been putting Eid cards into our food boxes each Ramadan.

And each year, we have been consulting the children in our community for their genius to produce the designs!

This year, Sr Halida’s year 3 class from Australian Islamic College – Dianella took the challenge on and turned it into a competition.

We add the Eid cards each year as a warm greeting to the recipients of our food boxes. It’s also a great way to get the kids in our community engaged from a young age, even if it’s with something as simple as designing an Eid card.

(It’s also at least 30% for us because we get the giggles every time – kids are adorable and have wonderful imaginations, okay?!)

We have chosen three winners from 17 entries and they are:

 

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A big shoutout to the amazing kids from AIC Dianella and their wonderful teacher for facilitating this initiative.

Meaningful Contributions

Sometimes you wish and work and hope for things…and sometimes magical things just fall right into your lap.

It was an ordinary Tuesday morning and Maryam hit up the Whatsapp chat group to see if we had anything to share with our Facebook followers.

I started scrolling through my phone to see if I could find a cute photo or video from a previous packing day to share – #ThrowbackTuesday is still a thing, right?

But then Kamran came through with this:

“One of the donors decided to donate instead of throwing a birthday party for her 2 year old son.”

And then he sent through this gorgeous photo which we immediately began gushing over:

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Duke Iman’s HFB haul!

Magical things!

I was recently doing some research for HFB with regards to donations and community engagement with initiatives like ours, and I came across this quote:

“Where we are seeing a lift is in the general community; more individuals are engaging in smaller, but still meaningful, contributions.”

When Kamran brought this wonderful act to our attention, that quote was the first thing that came to mind.

Parents choosing to turn their son’s second birthday into an opportunity to teach him about social responsibility is a meaningful contribution (also, at 2 years old! How amazing! Superhero parents!)

Check out what our fantastic donor had to say about their initiative:

My son is Duke Iman, 2 years old. On his birthday, instead of a gift and a party, we want to give to charity to teach him basic humanity.

So it’s going to be our small family tradition annually and we kickstarted with you guys.

We feel blessed to be part of this great cause. Thank you for making our community better 🙂

These tiny acts of awesomeness can be done anywhere and by anyone! Why not start up your own donation box at your workplace or school? Host a morning tea with your closest friends for a good cause? Cycle around Australia as a fundraiser? 😉

No matter how small or grandiose your plans are, we want to hear about them. Get in touch with us at hfbperth@gmail.com today!