The spirit of giving is all around us. As Ramadan has come to a close for another year, we reflect upon the season as a time for generosity and giving. During the blessed month, when the reward for generosity is multiplied, Cerner Middle East associates continue to remember those less fortunate. As is recognized around the globe, the limiting realities of poverty can be alleviated if we, who have means and wealth, are willing and able to share. Hunger is not a choice for some this Ramadan but giving IS for so many.
In what has become an annual event for Cerner Middle East, associates have yet again come together, under the leadership of the Wellness Ambassador Program, to host the 2nd annual Cerner Middle East Charity Iftar Dinner. Thanks to the generous contributions of CME associates and the successful partnership with Haji Sahab Restaurant, more than 2,200 Ramadan iftar dinners were distributed at a local labor camp on the outskirts of Dubai. This proved to be a humbling and eye-opening experience for all who were involved, not to mention a shining example of the “willing and able” mentality of the Cerner Middle East family, with the support of their own families and friends.
While not new to many residents of Dubai, participating in the Ramadan Sharing Fridges campaign was a first for the CME family this year. The Ramadan Sharing Fridges campaign began in 2016 as a single fridge on the front porch of an Australian expat’s home in Dubai, stocked with food and beverages aimed at providing access to free food & drink for community workers during the Holy month of Ramadan. Fast forward a mere 2 years, and the initiative has been replicated over and over resulting in more than 150+ fridges across Dubai, connecting more than 27,000+ social media users together amidst vastly diverse communities together during the Ramadan season; for one singular cause. During the month of Ramadan, twice a week, every week, the #OneCME family collected and organized food donations which teams then delivered to a number of the local Ramadan Sharing Fridges close to the offices. On more than one occasion, our teams found themselves filling fridges that had already been filled and emptied earlier in the day, a testament to the importance and utilization of the initiative by those in need.
Reflecting on the bigger picture of giving back and generosity, even the simplest acts of generosity, the ones we think of as “random acts of kindness” or the “no big deal” efforts, are actually incredibly important. The act of giving back and volunteerism, in all its shapes and forms, strengthens our communities, brings people together and provides individuals with invaluable experience and insight. One does not have to work at a philanthropic company or a non-profit to be able to make a difference in their own way. Whether it’s a few hours after work or one day on the weekend, I encourage everyone to discover the joys of giving back and see firsthand how it can impact your personal and professional life for the better.