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'It is part of our culture'; Members of AMYA pay it forward in Bradford

'There is no restriction or discrimination in our community. Our motto is ‘love for all, hatred for none," said AMYA official

Members of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Youth Association (AMYA) in the Bradford West Gwillimbury area continue to show the ‘true spirit of Islam.’ Their charitable work is widespread throughout the community and rooted in their culture.

“We are very much involved in the volunteering services,” said Kashif Ahmad Meer, AMYA Regional Director of Humanitarian Services. “Our age bracket is 15 to 40, so we have more energy, which we want to use in a positive way.”

Their latest act of kindness is offering snow removal services free of cost to anyone who is not able to do it themselves.

“Currently, we are providing a free snow removal service for any person in Bradford who is elderly, sick, pregnant, etc…, anyone who needs help,” explained Meer. “We aim to have the snow removed within 24 hours of a call. Moving forward, we will extend our services to anyone needing help with groceries or moving, who have a shortage of funds to do this.”

The primary mandate of the AMYA is to provide humanitarian services to the community around them. It is governed at the national level, which oversees activities all across Canada. The youth membership is around 250 people, with about 50 to 60 members actively involved. When there is a call to action, the local presidents arrange the youth to come out to help.  

Ezaaz Saeed, who is a volunteer with the association, explained why he enjoys doing this work.

“Most of my friends are from this community, so I enjoy building that brotherhood which is separate from work or school,” he said. “These relationships last a long time and are worthwhile.”

While continuing their snow removal services this winter, the AMYA is also planning to help tackle a variety of other community needs.

“With a shortage in blood services, AMYA is planning to do an educational seminar to promote giving blood to the blood bank on February 25,” said Zeeshan Iqbal, AMYA Regional President Northern Ontario.

In addition to assisting individuals in the community, the AMYA also wants to do its part in keeping the town clean. 

“We are doing an adopt-a-road program where we have adopted the 10th Sideroad in Bradford. We will collect garbage in the springtime from end to end,” said Iqbal. “We will set out a date and post it on Facebook. Anyone in the community who wants to join this program is welcome.”

If you would like to access a service that the AMYA provides, or you would like to assist them in any of their charitable activities, Meer, who is the point person to connect with, has offered his personal cell phone number (437-229-1724) as a contact.

“If anyone wants to be part of our team, we would welcome them,” said Meer. “There is no restriction or discrimination in our community. Our motto is ‘love for all, hatred for none.’”