Motivated by a sense of human duty to help, a group of secondary-school pupils from a township in Ontario, Canada, organized their own fundraiser for Beirut and raised money for the afflicted city in the wake of the recent port explosion.
The group of 15-16-year-olds rode their bikes for 10 kilometers with the aim of raising $300. They ended up with nearly double that amount.
Witnessing the tragic scene left behind by the massive August 4th blast, 10th-grade student Ali Khan took the initiative to provide whatever support he and his group of 6 friends that joined him could provide for the ongoing relief efforts in Beirut.
Khan was inspired by a recent fundraiser by Islamic Relief Canada to support victims of the explosion in Lebanon.
“I know a family friend who works in Islamic Relief and they [were having] an event, like an outdoor movie night, to raise money for Lebanon, and I couldn’t make it because my parents are busy,” he told the local Woolwich Observer Newspaper.
“And then I asked him if we could help out in our city, and he said, ‘yeah, you just got to do a bike ride.’ “
The ride took them around an hour, during which the group raised between $500 and $600 through donations.
The school friends have previous experience volunteering their skills and time, and they said they will redo the initiative once the cold weather passes.
Wellesley Mayor Joe Nowak, who gave the teens permission to ride the streets, praised the initiative: “I can’t say enough about the youth in this community and the work that they’ve done to put this program together. And to have somebody in the small village of Wellesley, I mean we’re 3,200 people in this town.”
One of the friends, Carter Trusell, said he hopes that other youth in smaller rural communities would be inspired by his group’s achievement and take on similar endeavors of their own.