Last week, a group of men and women around the world participated in a yearly campaign hosted by Karam Foundation and Students Organize for Syria: #Staches4Syria. Comprised of 13 teams and 50 mustaches, each team battled to raise money to sponsor Syrian children out of child labour and to provide them with winter packages, with gloves, blankets, and jackets.
The winning team’s prize? Bragging rights and the knowledge that they helped refugees in need. The competition, however, was fierce: to get ahead, teams had to up the ante by taking dares from their communities.
The winning team, Minnesnowta, took the competition to another level. Despite joining the campaign 4 days late, they had beat every other team to first place within 24 hours. They did everything they could, from soliciting community donations to making videos to even jumping into a frozen lake!
The team was composed of 5 people: Nora, Motassem, and Motaz Nashawaty, Humom Asamarai, and Momin Choudhry. Nora and Mostassem had participated in the past, and pushed their brother, Motaz, to join. “I actually joined not knowing anything about the campaign other than the fact that I got to rock a mustache and have a reason behind it, and to help the Syrian refugees,” Momin told us.
They all credited their community for their success. “Our community loved the campaign,” Nora said.
“It was the first time that they’d been exposed to it beyond just what I had shared in the past. People were very willing to dare us and donate, and many helped us share our posts and videos all over social media. I didn’t ask anyone beyond those directly on the team to do any campaigning, but by the end of the fundraiser, we had an extended team of ten or so doing the work with our core team of five,” she continued.
Motassem agreed. He said, “Our community loved it! Because we accepted dares in exchange for pledges, everyone was excited to be a part of the campaign, whether they donationed or spread the word. People we didn’t even know were eager to join and support our Syrian brothers and sisters!”
To those contemplating joining the campaign next year, Motaz had the best advice: “Minnesota joined 4 days late in a 7 day long campaign. And we won it. If a team joining 4 days late could win it, anyone can. With enough energy, enthusiasm, dedication, and excitement, literally anything is possible. Anything. May this be motivation for us all in any and everything that we do inshaAllah. Put forth your best effort, spread the word, ask for donations, and you will go far. At the end of the day, children will be warm and children will go to school because of you and your work. Be sure to purify your intentions, and we all win.”
Team Minnesnowta raised $14,010 in 3 days. The entire 7-day campaign raised over $80,000.00 for Syrian refugees. Though the campaign has ended, Syrians are still in need. If you would like to donate to keep Karam's Winter Relief efforts, please click here.