Windsorites send more than $75K in relief aid to Palestinians in Gaza

Funding raised by the Windsor Islamic Association and International Development Relief Fund has reached Palestinians in Gaza. Over $75, 000 has been raised by local contributors from diverse backgrounds and religions.

‘This is not a Muslim issue. It’s a humanitarian issue,’ says Osama Warsi

Two Palestinian youth receive aid package from the Windsor Islamic Association. (Submitted by Osama Warsi/IDRF)

A group in Windsor has sent more than $75,000 in relief packages to Palestinians living in Gaza to help rebuild after bombing earlier this month. 

The Windsor Islamic Association and the International Development Relief Fund, a not-for-profit Canadian charity, have worked together to raise monetary aid to buy medicine, clothes and some food. 

Osama Warsi, a member of the Windsor Islamic Association, is struck by the diversity of people who have donated to the cause. 

"This has not been a Muslim effort. It has been a humanitarian effort," said Warsi, noting that Windsorites have broken religious and cultural barriers to help those suffering in Gaza. 

A young Palestinian child living in Gaza. (Submitted by Osama Warsi )

Astounding response

A ceasefire between Israel and Hamas has been in place since May 21. According to Reuters, 254 Palestinian people, including 66 children, have been killed in Gaza since violence broke out earlier this month. Two children and 10 adult civilians died in Israel during the conflict.

Ahseea Ahmed, head of protection and neutrality for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees says 8,000 people have been displaced by the recent fighting. 

Warsi attributes the high volume of contributions from local donors to the power of social media. 

"When they see things in the media that report that children have been massacred at some points, there's a reaction," said Warsi. "There's an innate reaction that a person has when they see that and it breaks the boundary between religions and cultures." 

"The response to it is astounding, really." 

Warsi says the fundraiser will send an additional $25,000 worth of supplies in the days or weeks to come. 

With files by Chris Ensing