Tuesday December 3, 2013

Amir Khan packs a punch for the Philippines

When Typhoon Haiyan hit the Philippines, devastating over 13 million lives, boxer Amir Khan was keen to flex his charitable muscles and support the relief effort. With the help of Bradford councillor and long-standing Islamic Relief volunteer, Rizwan Malik, an idea was born.

Amir and I met three weeks ago and he talked about how shocked he was. We had a lightbulb moment and decided on a fundraising dinner to support Islamic Relief’s Philippines Appeal,” said Rizwan.

Within two short weeks all 500 tickets to the dinner, hosted at Bradford’s Hilton Hotel, were sold out. The double attraction of supporting such a desperate need in the Philippines, along with the Olympic silver medal winning host, left those who missed out on a seat disappointed – but Amir faithfully updated his fans with pictures and messages via Twitter throughout the evening.

And what a successful evening it was – Amir announced the grand total to 1.4 million Twitter followers at the end of the evening: “amazing evening for the Philippines typhoon. We raised £83,300.”

Donations towards this staggering total were inspired not only by the plight of the Filipino people, but also by a charity auction which had the bids flying in: memorabilia from footballing stars including Messi and Ronaldo, as well as a signed glove from Amir himself.

The £83,300 raised will go a long way to supporting Islamic Relief’s work in the Philippines, which is concentrated on the tiny islands surrounding Bantayan in the Cebu area – one of the regions hit worst by the super-storm.

We are providing essential food, water and shelter to communities who have lost everything, and the proceeds from Amir’s dinner could enable us to provide vital food packs to over 47,000 people, or family-sized tents to 1,580 households.

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