JEDDAH: A clothes “shop” with a difference is operating this winter in Riyadh. Families can fill their shopping cart with whatever they need to stay warm — but they pay nothing.
Teams of young Saudi volunteers have collected donations ranging from clothing and blankets to heating stoves, and carried out any repairs needed to make everything as good as new.
The “winter warmth” scheme is being run for a fifth year by the Ehtiwa' Voluntary Foundation, and aims to support 1,000 families.
“We cooperated with a charity to reach families from the cities and towns around Riyadh city because the weather is colder in those areas and more people with a lower material situation are found there,” Ashwaq Al-Nashwan, a member of Ehtiwa's board of directors, told Arab News.
“What distinguishes our work is that the family does not get the clothes delivered to their houses. Instead, they come and fill their shopping cart with what they need.”
The campaign received about half-a-million pieces of clothing last year, and they are aiming to reach the same number this year.
The foundation was established seven years ago, and aims to serve all classes and groups of Saudi society, strengthening social bonds.
“It carries out social, cultural and educational activities, supports programs for children, and Eid parties for foreign communities in Saudi Arabia. Our target is all the components of the community of Saudi Arabia,” Al-Nashwan said.