It’s a key religious date on the Christian calendar but Christmas Day is also known to be a day of giving.
On Friday, about 100 members of Calgary’s Muslim community decided to come up with their own unique way of giving, lugging shovels around the Islamic Centre in the city’s northwest, and clearing driveways and walkways for neighbours.
Now in its fourth year, the shovelling effort has become a Christmas tradition for the centre.
The initiative is the brainchild of the Islamic Association of North West Calgary; a way for Muslims to take part in Christmas celebrations while also demonstrating to the community that its members play an important role in the neighbourhood.
“This is kind of the message you want to give out to the community and the neighbourhood from the Islamic Centre- a message of peace and love,” said Mohammad Abbas, the chairman of the Islamic Association of North West Calgary. “We have been getting amazing love from the community for the Islamic Centre.”
The initiative is just one of several steps the association is taking in an effort to demonstrate the spirit of giving at Christmas. It is also collecting food donations for the Calgary Food Bank and encouraging its members to donate to the Calgary Herald’s Christmas Cheer Fund.