‘Meet, eat, donate’: local mosque barbecues to raise funds for OEV community

‘Meet, eat, donate’: local mosque barbecues to raise funds for OEV community
Proceeds collected will go towards helping out those affected by the Old East Village explosion that shook Woodman Avenue and surrounding areas on the night of August 14.

Meet, eat, donate: A fundraiser BBQ is underway here at London Muslim Mosque, with 100% of proceeds going towards supporting the Old East Village community. The mosque has already raised $3,500 for the OEV prior to the BBQ, and within one day. #LdnOnt

Ali Chahbar, the outreach coordinator with the mosque, tells 980 CFPL it is London’s responsibility to provide all types of support to the victims during this difficult time.

“[The families] are fellow Londoners, they’re fellow citizens… it’s incumbent on us to reach out to them and see how we can alleviate any troubles,” says Chahbar.

“This is financial support, but they need emotional support, they need support on every level.”

Councillors Jesse Helmer of Ward 4 and Phil Squire of Ward 6 attended the BBQ, and told 980 CFPL the mosque’s generosity comes without surprise.

“The community here at the London Muslim Mosque is outstanding, I’m not surprised to see them come together to try and support their neighbors in Old East Village,” says Helmer. “It’s really heartening to see the community coming together here at the mosque to try and support the folks who have been affected.”

“Today’s really just an example of the many things the [mosque does] to make the community better,” says Squire. “I’m not surprised, but I couldn’t be happier.”

Good friends Mark Johnson and Christopher Handren headed over to grab some burgers.

“It’s a real blessing to have a Muslim community here that’s so outreaching and giving,” Johnson tells 980 CFPL.

“I think [the victims need] more moral support [like this.]” adds Handren.

The mosque began fundraising for the OEV community the Friday following the explosion.

Chahbar says an announcement was made during Friday prayers regarding helping out the victims, and $3,500 was raised all in one day, and in one service.

For Chahbar, helping local heroes get back on their feet is a Londoner’s duty.

“They’re resilient residents and neighbours in that area, because they’ve really showed their resilience. They’re heroes… they really are.”
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