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With 2017 declared as Year of Giving, the residents of UAE welcomed the new year not just with good hopes utmost optimism, but also with well-placed compassion, kindness, and commitment to make a positive difference.
The President of the UAE, His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, announced in December 2016 that 2017 would be celebrated as the Year of Giving. The inspiration for 2017- Year of Giving was the truly giving nature of the founder of the nation, Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan. UAE Nationals and all residents of UAE till date believe in the power of giving and it is preserved in our policies and leadership. There is an assurance to help those less fortunate, to offer help whenever we can. The year 2017 will preserve this legacy and remind us how important is the value of giving.
There is an obligation for private entities for launching programs and initiatives that are benefitting the society at large and as a whole. We need to ask ourselves, how we as individuals can make a difference. Every member of every family can think about how they contribute towards the advancement of this nation and its people. Giving can be done in so many ways. It is easy and abundant- we give back to the environment by keeping our areas and surroundings clean. If you have the power to help others, ‘giving’ is making your people happy, and being kind to them.
One of the most selfless acts that any human can undertake is volunteering since its effect on society is overwhelmingly positive. Volunteering is another way to give, volunteer an hour, a day or a week of your time; volunteer your skills, your knowledge, and your energy. Volunteer and make a difference in your society. People spend their life accumulating material assets and wealth, with realizations later how they can give and share with those in need. No one can feel fulfilled until he or she starts ‘giving’ to make a difference.
UAE Culture truly believes that there is no greater honor than to represent and serve the nation.
UAE has always been very kind and gracious with its contributions and humanitarian work on an international level.
It has provided aid to more than 178 nations worldwide as per the Ministry of Finance in UAE with almost a total amount of AED one hundred and seventy-three billion up to 2014. Out of this, AED seven billion approximately has been emergency humanitarian aid.
Donate your old clothes and footwear
There are collection boxes in various strategic locations – hypermarkets, shopping malls, and roads. Donations can also be made at the offices of charities like Emirates Red Crescent and Beit Al Kheir Society. Clothes and footwear donated can mean a lot, especially to those who have been displaced from their homes in war-stricken areas.
Volunteer to help educate the needy
Organizations like Dubai Cares constantly look out for volunteers to help them with their various activities. The time you spend here helps to cater to the future of children who have no access to good schools or even books. You can also donate your books at collection centers like the Book Shelter (which is in Abu Dhabi, Dubai, and Sharjah).
Every drop of blood that you can give can help save a life. While one in three requires a transfusion of blood or blood products at least once, in their lifetime, only one in thirty donate blood. There are several places across the UAE where you can donate blood – at hospitals and also in mobile centers. You can donate at public hospitals like Latifa Hospital and centers like Sharjah Blood Transfusion and Research Centre and Abu Dhabi Blood Bank Centre.
Give back to your environment
While you can segregate waste at home and make sure you don’t waste water and electricity, you can take your love for the environment to the next level by volunteering with organizations like Emirates Environmental Group and Emirates Wildlife Society, both of which work for the welfare of the environment around you. You can help to keep the earth clean and fight climate change, making this place a home for all.