Annual Eid ul Adha Carnival
By Owaiz Dadabhoy
On October 11 th, UPLIFT Charity held its 10th annual Eid-ul-Adha carnival for the families that UPLIFT serves in Orange County, the Inland Empire and neighboring cities. Approximately 700 people attended the carnival including families, children and individuals to celebrate the festivities of Eid together. Refugees and asylum seekers from more than 10 countries attended, many of whom were from Syria, Iraq and Burma.
The concept was envisioned in 2006 after the UPLIFT team had realized that many of the families they were assisting were refugees, recent immigrants and people who had lost everything. The idea was to get people together so that they could make a connection with another person and start to build a new network. At the same time, the UPLIFT team wanted to create a festive environment as many of the attendees were usually celebrating Eid alone.
The attendees were welcomed and served by a large team, each one with a smile on their face. More than 700 grilled burgers were served and hundreds of toys, clothing items and snack bags distributed to those attending. Our friends at UMMA Clinic administered flu shots and provided medical screenings. Our long time partners from Islamic Relief donated 3,500 pounds of meat that was distributed at the end of the day to those who attended and to various low income Muslim communities near us. The children were kept entertained with a bouncer, pony rides, petting zoo, face painting and henna.
For the second year in a row the carnival coincided with Open Mosque Day at the Islamic Society of Orange County where the event was held. Visitors from many faiths visited after their tour of the mosque. Included in those that came by to greet UPLIFT team members and attendees were former State Senator Lou Correa, Garden Grove Mayor Bao Nguyen, Garden Grove City Council member Phat Bui, and Garden Grove Planning Commissioner John O'Neill.
The UPLIFT team thanks all 40 volunteers for their sincere efforts in making the guests feel welcome.
Testimonials: You have showed Allah's love and mercy by spreading so much happiness, love and joy to so many hearts. We really appreciate what you did for us and May Allah bless UPLIFT and all the people who helped in putting together such a beautiful event. - Maria White
My daughter and I had a great time at this amazing carnival. My Muslim friend invited me to come and meet the community and I was so surprised to see how nice, friendly and welcoming everyone was. Thank you for opening up your doors and hearts to us. - Blanca Quintana
It was an amazing and very organized event. My children were so excited to receive so many gifts and goodie bags. What made their day even more thrilling was riding the ponies, petting the animals and the jumper! Their favorite meal was an awesome plus. Barbecued burgers, chips, salsa, cookies and all kinds of drinks. We were sent home with not only so many gifts but also with a nice bag of lamb meat. I can't express enough my deepest and most heartfelt sincere gratitude to all of UPLIFT as an organization, staff and volunteers for making this day such a memorable one for my children and so many others. - Anonymous