Calgary Muslims aim for 200,000 volunteer hours for Canada 150

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SHAFAQNA – There’s a group of volunteers across Canada that hope to log a million hours giving back to their communities — and the Calgary contingent was in full swing Sunday.

About 100 Ismaili Muslims spent the afternoon digging potatoes at the Grow Calgary acreage, a volunteer farm that donates its harvest.

In total, 500 volunteers showed up at non-profits and service providers, like Inn from the Cold, the Calgary Women’s Emergency Shelter and the Calgary Drop-In & Rehab Centre.

Co-ordinator Alisha Visanji says it’s become a challenge just keeping track of the hours.

“We had another 100 come out to make sandwiches for the Drop-In Centre. We’ve had people sorting clothing donations at Women in Need Society, city park cleanups, the Terry Fox Run, Habitat for Humanity,” Visanji said.

Alisha Visanji

Co-ordinator Alisha Visanji says there is so much going on, it’s hard to keep track of the volunteer hours. (Kate Adach/CBC)

“The list goes on.”

They say it’s about honouring Canada’s 150th anniversary.

National co-ordinator Tasneem Rahim will tally the numbers with others Canada-wide.

The Calgary goal is 200,000 hours — and Rahim says they won’t stop until they’ve reached it.

“My 93-year-old grandmother was out making peanut butter sandwiches with me this afternoon, and that was part of it too. It was bringing together community to help Calgarians, one Calgarian at a time. That’s what it was about for us today,” she explained.

“We feel very privileged to be in Canada and Calgary, and so you know, it’s our thing to give back.”

1 million volunteer hours

Volunteers made about 2,800 peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for the Calgary Drop-In & Rehab Centre on Sunday. (Submitted by Noorin Jaffer)

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