Cover Story

Gift of warmth

December 8 - December 14, 2021
Gulf Weekly Gift of warmth
Gulf Weekly Gift of warmth
Gulf Weekly Gift of warmth

Gulf Weekly Mai Al Khatib-Camille
By Mai Al Khatib-Camille

A group of big-hearted individuals from across Bahrain are rallying to give the less fortunate the gift of warmth this festive season through a month-long ‘Winter Clothing Drive’.

The unregistered, non-profit charity champions, OneHeartBahrain, are driving around the kingdom collecting bags full of cosy winter-wear to deliver to those in need before the cold sets in.

“We don’t live in a perfect world and there’s never going to be a perfect time to give,” said Tanya Thomas, the group’s social media co-ordinator who also ensures all donations are picked up and distributed on time. “However, there are always people out there in need of help. What matters the most is that we come together as one, joining hands and having one purpose in mind, which is to go out there and serve with love, kindness and compassion.

“We are helping to make the community a better place and the act of helping others, donating to charity or volunteering your time will give you an improved sense of wellbeing as well.”

The community driven group, which was founded by social strategist and meditation teacher Birthe van der Heijden in September 2019 to unite the kingdom through acts of kindness, is asking people to donate items for adults and children.

“People can donate scarves, jackets, sweaters, socks, shawls, trousers, long-sleeved tops, T-shirts and shoes, as well as clothing for little ones,” added Tanya, from Tubli, who work as an events and catering officer at the Bahrain International Circuit. “We will be picking up donations directly and all items need to be gently used please as well as labelled as per the age and gender for easy reference.”

Tanya had joined hands with OneHeartBahrain last year and has actively been a part of various campaigns and social activities since.

“Every weekend we help labour camps and families that are in need,” she said. “We provide them with food boxes that consist of basic food items. We are also currently working on our Christmas campaign where we would like to collect toys as well as food boxes for those in need.

“Serving others has always been my passion and I hope we are able to reach out to as many needy people as we possibly can.”

The volunteers are split into three groups to better cater to the needs of the community. The Action Group consists of 16 members that conduct all the groundwork focusing on prep work, delivery and execution. The Media Group is made up of 11 individuals that brainstorm ideas, design and handle social media accounts. The We Care Bahrain sister group also features 11 members that volunteer for any social services needed … and the group is always in need of more helping hands.

“We are open to having volunteers be part of our OneHeartBahrain family,” added Tanya. “Knowing that you’ve sacrificed your time and effort to help others in need, and to make a positive change in the community, is a beautiful thing.”

For details, follow @oneheartbahrain on Instagram.

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