If you know any teenagers, (or parents of teens for that matter!) then you will already know that these are the years where change is rapid. During these years, they begin to carve out an identity for themselves.  They may be influenced by their environment, and may follow in the footsteps of family and friends whom they connect with. They begin to explore and enjoy new interests and skills.

Meet Aamina

One such teen, is 14-year old Aamina. Aamina is the eldest in her family, she has a keen in Arabic calligraphy and loves to play football. She also has admitted to being addicted to Roblox! Beside her varied interests, Aamina has a drive to help others. In Ramadhan, Aamina used this drive to do something truly inspirational: she raised £7000 in just 4 weeks to relieve HHUGS families!

Aamina had previously participated in fundraising events for HHUGS with her family, which encouraged her to sign up in her own right for our Race2Jannah challenge.

“Over the years, my mum participated in fundraising activities for HHUGS and this made me want to take part too. HHUGS is a special charity because it helps vulnerable families here in the UK, which not many charities do. Earlier in the year, my sisters and I participated in the Winter Walk for HHUGS which motivated me to fundraise again.”

Aamina raised her funds by working tirelessly, encouraging friends and family to spread the word and donate. Her family supported her throughout her fundraising journey. Her father speaks of how she got started, and how Aamina used her love for Arabic Calligraphy to help raise more funds.

We were very proud she took the initiative in signing up for the Race2jannah.  To begin with, it was just the usual word of mouth to immediate friends and family and it kind of snowballed from there.  We also encouraged her to use her calligraphy skills, so she resurrected an ongoing project which she started and paused for a while, in designing a very impressive A3 99 Names of Allah frame.”

Aamina auctioned off her Arabic calligraphy and raised an impressive £200.  She continued to stay motivated due to her competitive nature. She talks about how HHUGS’ leaderboard helped her stay on track and push herself further.

“The leaderboard was a very good feature because it made you want to fundraise further and reach the top. Also, seeing everyone else’s hard work and efforts was very inspiring and kept you motivated.”

The Auctioned Master Piece

Competing for Jannah

Aamina and her family are passionate about the works that HHUGS do.  Aamina’s family continued to motivate her by reminding her of the importance of her work, and the impact it was having on the lives of single mothers and children in HHUGS families during Ramadhan. Having the support from loved ones pushed Aamina further, making her increase her target numerous times!

“The challenge kept me motivated as I knew we were all going to be helping and changing lives of our brothers and sisters who were going through difficult times. My parents also kept me motivated and encouraged me to keep on going even after I reached my first target.”

However, Aamina’s fundraising journey was not one without competition. The Race2Jannah campaign was filled with serial fundraisers, all determined to surpass each other. Many of them adults, who had a wider network of people, aiding their fundraising journey. However, Aamina remained steadfast, using this fuel to push harder.  She discusses her surprise at the amount she raised.

“I would say the hardest part was competing against adults who knew so many people. It felt very good to raise over £7000 pounds; before the challenge I could never have imagined raising an amount that big, especially at my age.”

Inspiring the next generation

Aamina’s inspirational journey sets a clear example of the lengths children, and teenagers can go to when encouraged and supported. It reminds us of the importance of engaging the youth of today with charity work and teaching them the importance of charity to help them instil it as a part of their lives. Aamina’s father comments further:

“Firstly, it is getting to them to think about others in need, both here in the UK and across the globe.  Charity and being selfless is a huge part of our deen, so in this materialistic world we live in, it is critical we provide them with the correct tarbiyyah (Islamic upbringing).  Caring for others will then organically lead them into helping others, be it by donating or getting involved with charities by fundraising and volunteering.”

The prospect of your child having their own fundraising page can be daunting, as you fear they may feel under pressure or be unable to meet their target. However, like Aamina did, you too can be innovative when raising funds. Aamina’s father talks of how you can make your fundraising journey exciting.

“Just get your kids involved as early as possible. Set them small targets and think about doing sponsored walks, swimathons, etc.  Make it fun for them and explain the impact of their efforts, both in how it will help those in need, and importantly, the pleasure of Allah it will attain.”

When we fundraise for charities, we often are under the assumption that those who are benefiting are the families we are fundraising for. However, we are often fail to recognise the benefit it has on us, both spiritually and personally.  The drive, the competition, the hurdles you overcome and the encouragement from friends and family to push harder are all a part of your fundraising journey. You are building memories you will cherish forever, whilst also earning the pleasure of Allah (swt).

Just go for it!

Aamina encourages other teens to also fundraise and discusses the impact it has had on her.

I would encourage them to go for it, even if they think that they won’t be able to raise much. It’s important to remember that every pound makes a difference and that you’ll be rewarded for the effort. I’d also encourage them to get their parents involved as, through their contacts, you’ll be able to raise more than you could expect. You could also use your talents and create things for people to buy and donate that money to your cause. Fundraising can be challenging but it is very fun and you’ll treasure the memory for the rest of your life.”

If you have been waiting for that push to fundraise, let 14-year old Aamina’s journey be that motivation you needed. She reminds us of how fundraising for charity can be done in innovative ways. We are blessed with different skills and passions, why not use those passion and skills to help you fundraise? This pandemic has provided us with the perfect opportunity to do just that, as we are able to spend more time honing our skills and developing new ones, we can further utilise these by helping families less fortunate.

For those who would simply like to fundraise, our challenge has got you covered.  You can fundraise from comfort of your own home, without having to lift a finger. Sign up to our Race2Jannah Campaign, and have an impact like Aamina.