Gifts for Eid – no teen left behind

Eid leading image

In early June, we received a pressing email from Croydon Council asking for our help. It was from the team responsible for young and vulnerable children in care or living in temporary accommodation. The team were planning an Eid al-Fitr event for the first time and had no gifts for the older teenagers. The team had referred to us last Christmas for Santa Stork, so were hopeful we’d be able to help this time around, and we were glad to.

We understand how important Eid al-Fitr is for families. Therefore, we wanted to ensure the families behind this request could see that the local community shared in their celebrations. We also understand that older teenagers can often find times of festivity hard, and sometimes younger children are more in focus. We knew we had some gifts that would make them feel just as included as the younger ones.

Eid is an Islamic holiday which celebrates the end of an intense month of fasting for Ramadan, with a key tradition being to go shopping with parents and relatives for new clothes and gifts. Children usually look forward to receiving gifts from their family, but for those who are vulnerable or living in care, it’s a stark reminder of what they don’t have.

We had the perfect gift for older girls in stock: 10 vanity cases full to the brim with make-up, which had been one of our most popular gift items. As Eid is the perfect occasion for dressing up and feeling glamorous, we knew they’d be a hit.

We were also able to source 20 luxury toiletry gift sets for the boys, containing some lovely items to make them feel extra special.

The Council’s Eid event was a great success, with 100 children and young people attending overall. There was much excitement in the air as the personalised gift bags containing beautifully wrapped presents were distributed.

“When we handed out the gift bags on the day of the event, our young people could not contain their happiness and were eager to see their gifts! This is the first time that Children’s Social Care have organised an Eid gift event and from speaking to our young people and their foster carers we could tell how much recognising Eid meant to them.

“We really wanted them to feel spoiled, and thanks to Stripey Stork, we were able to do just that. It was a very special celebration and a pleasure to witness all the smiles you have put on our children’s faces.”

– Haleema, Children’s Social Care – Croydon Council

The team shared some of the stories of the children who attended the event, like the young man from Afghanistan who arrived here after fleeing conflict, leaving his family, life and dreams behind. He’s had to start again without his usual support network, so events like this are vital in showing him that he is cared for, appreciated and respected.

The Eid festivities are a time of self-reflection and charitable giving, where Muslims are encouraged to be mindful of those in the wider community who may be struggling. It’s a very inclusive celebration, where no one should be left out, and thanks to your continued support we’ve been able to help ensure that no one was.

Stripey Stork have been working across Surrey for over ten years, and during that time we’ve also built strong relationships with partners in Croydon. In response to referral partner demand and knowing that so many families in Croydon are affected by poverty, we’ve begun to develop our work in the area, forging new partnerships and building capacity to deliver to more families there. Feedback from key partners, like the team involved in this request, are an important part of this expansion of our service.


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