The first day of term is always a memorable one; the sound of squeaky new shoes and excited chatter fill school corridors, whilst parents linger at gates watching their young ones walk away, hoping to get a wave as they disappear into the crowds.  It’s a mixed feeling that fills the air on the first day of term; a whole load of excitement to be reunited with peers, mixed with a tinge of disappointment that the holidays are over.

Unfortunately, they are accustomed to being the odd one out. It’s not something they complain or talk about; after all there isn’t much they can do about it. They soldier on, praying silently that one day things will be different.

Their prayers have been answered this term by generous souls in households not too far from their own; individuals who gifted these children an opportunity at a brighter future; a chance to turn things around.  This year, as always you didn’t fail to deliver hope to HHUGS’ children.  We were able to raise £14,015 for our Back to School campaign, and distributed £14,861 in support to our families to prepare them for the start of term. We provided 92 children with new school uniforms and 84 with stationery and essentials, reducing their worries, and aiding them to focus on their education.

Although the idea of a providing a new school uniform, or stationery to a child may not seem like a such a big deal to many of us, for others it has a phenomenal impact. You are lifting the burden weighing heavily on single mothers, knowing that their child will have a fresh start this September: that, for once, things may be different for them.

“My son didn’t have the uniform last year. The blazer is too expensive. He had my neighbour’s son’s old shoes and his thawbs were second hand as well. Having brand new clothes is special ma sha Allah.”

Trying to prep a child for their September start can be difficult, so prepping for multiple children is especially daunting, more so when you are struggling financially. When a stranger generously assists you in readying your child for the new term, it is extremely touching and a weight lifted from the shoulders of HHUGS families.

“It’s so financially difficult to find money for four children’s uniforms and equipment. This has taken away the stress and struggle. All of my children will have what they need and I no longer have to worry about how I will find it.”

Having the correct uniform and the right stationery not only lifts the burden financially for HHUGS households but improves the confidence of young children in HHUGS families. They can go to school, without the fear of being the odd one out; wearing uniform that is old or torn, not having the correct equipment to study, or wearing shoes that no longer fit.

“My children have all of the equipment they need and won’t be teased about old, washed-out clothes.”

They simply want to fit in, to be like their peers; for once not be the one who is spoken about, or teased in their classroom.

“Our child was very happy that he has everything that other school children have. That he was able to wear new clothes and not have anxiety about wearing ill-fitting, worn out things.”

What we take for granted, is a huge deal for these children. As you go on about your daily life, not giving your donation a second thought, HHUGS children in classrooms up and down the country are thankful to the strangers who thought of them, when no one else did.

Jazakum Allahu Khairan once again for your continuous generosity, and support. May Allah aid you in your time of need and clothe you with the finest silk in Paradise, ameen.