Grateful Givers shine beyond Christmas
Eleven years ago, there was little cheer in Imran and Alicia Khan’s home on Christmas Eve.
‘All of our family members were overseas or on holiday and I thought about how many other people would be feeling lonely on a day like that,’ Imran says.
The couple was especially aware of how much harder it must be for people experiencing homelessness and other hardships.
With that thought, the couple decided to make their Christmas a bit merrier by giving back, rushing to the shops 30 minutes before closing to buy gifts.
The couple put together 6 gift packs with $100, which they hand-delivered to the homeless in Brisbane CBD on Christmas Day.
“Christmas Eve always reminds me of my humanity, knowing we’ve made a difference in someone else’s life.”— Imran Khan
‘We absolutely loved it. We got to spend a lot of time with people in the same position and it was really beautiful to see their reactions,’ Alicia says.
‘I took a picture of Imran next to the gift packs, shared it on Facebook and others started asking how they could help.’
Their simple act of kindness inspired many others, making its way to America, Sweden and New Zealand through social media.
The duo are now the founders of Grateful Givers, an incorporated association with volunteers in the hundreds that work throughout the year.
One hundred per cent of its donations go towards those in need.
This takes the form of free hampers, along with free hairdressing and whatever the team can help with – one Easter, Imran and Alicia bought and delivered a bunch of Easter eggs to a mum who was unable to afford them that year.
Christmas is a particularly busy season for Grateful Givers, with plenty of collecting, packing, and delivering what they now call Grateful Boxes.
For Imran and Alicia, helping the homeless has become a cherished Christmas tradition that they now share with their team.
‘It’s really beautiful and humbling to see people grow compassion and empathy,’ Imran says.
‘Christmas Eve always reminds me of my humanity, knowing we’ve made a difference in someone else’s life.
‘To experience giving and seeing where your stuff is going – that’s what Christmas is all about.’
Last Christmas Day, the team visited shelters and the streets to hand out a little Christmas cheer.
2022 has been their biggest year yet, as Grateful Givers were able to help 5 families with about 20 boxes worth of food and groceries.
‘We hope we create a ripple effect and inspire others to do the same,’ Alicia says.