For less than the cost of a meal deal lunch, you could be saving a life this winter. Not in a far off developing country, but right here, in a broken home, a few doors down from your own.

Fuel poverty is blighting 2.5 million households in the UK, 50% of which have primary breadwinners in work. Among them are HHUGS families: single mothers, children without fathers, and elderly parents of sons in detention. These families have been isolated from their communities when they are most vulnerable and desperate. Most have minimal income, and have likely had their assets confiscated. Burdened by debts and harassed by bailiffs, they struggle to survive on the bare minimum throughout the year. Now with the onset of winter colds, they will be fighting hypothermia, exposure and sickness, on top of everything else.

This winter, we can’t rest easy turning up our thermostats in the knowledge that a home without a father or son is stone cold. Can you?

Just £3.33 a day for 90 days amounts to £300. That’s all we need to get one HHUGS family through the winter. Please help us to give them a warmer winter.

Help us Revive the Tradition of ‘Umar ibn Al-Khattab

Did you know that when the Levant was conquered during his Caliphate, ‘Umar ibn al-Khattab (RA) worried that the Companions of the Prophet (saw) and others who’d never previously experienced such cold as the winters of that region, would be harmed by it? He sent word to its inhabitants, advising them to protect themselves:

‘Indeed winter has appeared, and it is an enemy, so prepare for it with wool, khuffs and socks; and take wool as your outer and inner garment, because the cold is a fast-moving enemy and slow to leave the body.’ [‘Umar ibn al-Khattab]

As the cold months approach, join us to revive the tradition of ‘Umar ibn al-Khattab and other great leaders of our Islamic tradition; leaders who fretted for the wellbeing of the Ummah in the farthest reaches of Muslim lands. Leaders who removed their garments upon hearing of the plight of widows and orphans in destitution, and refused to clothe themselves until the needy had been fed and clothed first.

Safwan bin Salim went out on a cold night in Madinah near the mosque, and he saw a man with little clothing on. So, he took off his coat and covered him up with it. Someone living in the Levant saw in a dream that Safwan bin Salim had entered Paradise with a shirt he had made. So he went to Madinah and said:

“Show me where Safwan is.” When he found him, he told him of the dream. [Lataa’if al-Ma’aarif]

The spiritual opportunities of this season are manifold: Its long nights are ideal for supererogatory worship, and its short days make nafl fasts easy. With all this comes the added opportunity for charity –the chance to relieve another from the hardships of surviving the cold. Will you join us as we reap the booty of winter to the fullest?

FAQs

What’s the challenge?

We need £3.33 a day for 90 days to get one HHUGS family through the winter. These families are barely able to pay bills and afford food, even at the best of times. Come winter, their situation becomes all the more dire, with their limited budget failing to cover the high cost of heating a home. By contributing £300 towards their gas and electric bill, we can help them stave off the winter colds. With £300, they can get through the cold months without having to cut back on food or other essential needs.

The challenge, if you choose to accept, is to commit to raising £300 within 90 days. This could be through collecting donations worth £3.33 a day; or by collecting larger donations to complete the target within a shorter time. That’s all. No mountains to climb. No hard-core physical training, or personal fitness target to achieve. No need to run a marathon or bike across the country. This is a challenge you can complete from the comfort of your own home, without having to worry about taking time off work or arranging childcare. It’s as simple as sharing a post or message via email or over social media –something all of us do several times a day, every day.

I’m game, what’s next?

The easiest way to raise funds is by setting up a JustGiving page, which you will be able to share with your contacts over social media and via email. If you need help with this, we can set it up for you, and even create your very own text giving code that will enable your friends and family to donate effortlessly via SMS.

The HHUGS team are on hand every (reasonable) hour of the day, to support you through every stage of your challenge. We can even provide you with message and post templates that will help you raise awareness of the plight of vulnerable HHUGS families in winter, and bring in the big bucks. All you’ll need to do is be sure to use every medium at your disposal to get the word out: Email, Twitter, Facebook, WhatsApp, SMS, Snapchat, YouTube and even Instagram.

Whether you’re a fundraising pro or a complete beginner, we’re confident you’ll smash your target in record time. We’ve seen it again and again with past challengers.

How can I raise the money?

Committing to raise £300 may seem daunting at first but it really is simple. Just getting 30 people you know to donate £10 would help you reach your target in no time. Alternatively you might prefer the slow-burn method, where you could get 13 friends to commit to sparing £3.33 out of the cost of their lunch for one week.

To spice things up a bit and give friends and family a bigger incentive to donate, you may wish to set yourself an additional challenge. These could involve making lifestyle changes that will help you get a better understanding of what a HHUGS family is facing this winter. Some popular options include:

  • Committing to live on cold food for a week
  • Committing to live without central heating for three days
  • Committing to live by candle light for a week
  • Camping outdoors in your garden for one night

Alternatively, if you’re in London, Manchester, or Bradford, join us for the HHUGS Annual Winter Walk, where we’ll be walking five miles towards warmer homes. Find out More

The options are numerous and the Ummah generous. With the correct intentions and the grace of Allah (swt), we have no doubt that you will complete the challenge in good time and perhaps even exceed your target!  Do make sure to check with your GP if you have any medical conditions that might be an obstacle to taking part in any of the above challenges.

What if I’m not Social Media Savvy?

Not being active on social media doesn’t mean you can’t take part. Those traditional methods of direct fundraising served us well for many years and still work wonders. We will set you up with everything you need from the get go and even provide a penny box upon request (just call 0207 733 2104 or email info@hhugs.org.uk). Download our Fundraising Toolkit for a complete A-Z of fundraising idea and simple steps that will help you achieve fundraising success.

What if I can’t reach my target?

At HHUGS we’ve seen many challengers, supporters and volunteers achieve great feats despite their initial self-doubt. That’s why we’re confident that with a bit of effort and the help of Allah (swt) you will surpass your own expectations.

However, if you try your best but can’t reach your target (and we doubt this will be the case) then all is far from lost. You still walk away with the rewards of your intentions, your efforts and whatever amount you do manage to raise. We all know the hadith that goes:

“Whoever intends to perform a good deed but does not do it, Allah will record it as a complete good deed.” (Bukhari, Muslim)

So aim high with pure intentions, say ‘Bismillah’ and tie your camel by giving it your best effort, then leave the rest to Allah (swt). You’ve got nothing to lose, and everything to gain, in sha’ Allah!

“Winter is booty for the devout worshipers.” [Umar ibn Al-Khattab]

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