Calgary

'This is a time for love and helping': Calgary man provides doorstep delivery of care hampers

Looking out for and serving his community is nothing new for Syed Najam. Now he's providing bags with everything from masks to flowers to those in isolation in the city's northeast.

Syed Najam puts together bags with everything from masks to flowers for those in isolation

Calgary man provides doorstep delivery of care hampers 1:26

Looking out for and serving his community is nothing new for Syed Najam. 

In 2018, he made the news when he built a multicultural library on his front lawn in Saddle Ridge to bring people from different cultures and religions together through literature.

Then he built a pantry next to his library, stocked with food and essentials for people who might be struggling with the downturn in the economy. He also organized an event to bring together seniors in a local park, helping to tackle social isolation and honouring local elders over tea and samosas.

Now Najam and his grassroots volunteer group, Love With Humanity Association, are stepping up to help with the COVID-19 pandemic, gathering and putting together care packages for those in isolation who may not have strong social or family networks to help with groceries.

A volunteer makes care package deliveries to people’s doorsteps. Each bag contains essential items like medical masks, food and even flowers, as well as a personalized get well card. (Syed Najam)

"This is a time for love and helping. It's a difficult time," said Najam. "They are not able to go out and buy necessities for daily use."

As well as necessities and non-perishable food items, Najam includes flowers and a handwritten card in every bag.

For the past three weeks, people have been contacting him through Facebook, taking him up on his offer to help.

Once that happens, Najam and a few dedicated volunteers deliver hampers direct to doorsteps in the northeast and beyond, calling from their vehicle to the people inside the house to let them know they have a delivery.

The banner on the side of the minivan making deliveries reads: "Let's Spread Love Together." 

A minivan makes deliveries in northeast Calgary during the COVID-19 pandemic. (Syed Najam)

"These are people suffering from the pandemic situation or are self-isolating due to COVID-19," said Najam.

He says the hampers have been made possible by soliciting donations from Safeway along with local families and individuals.

Najam says they don't make contact in person with the people they're delivering to but he's received lots of thank-you calls and messages since starting his latest project.

"We've received messages, love, regards. These people are very happy and they also send us prayers," he said.

Najam says he'll keep gathering and delivering packages from his home in Saddle Ridge as long as there is a need. 

About the Author

Dan McGarvey

Journalist

Dan McGarvey is a mobile journalist focused on filing stories remotely for CBC Calgary’s web, radio, TV and social media platforms, only using an iPhone and mobile tech. You can email story ideas and tips to Dan at: dan.mcgarvey@cbc.ca or tweet him @DanMcGarvey

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