Currently operating from a small office on Great Horton Road in Bradford, Empowering Communities was setup by a group of friends last year with one aim in mind – to make a lasting difference in the lives of the needy so that one day they may help others.
With that ambition in mind, friends, relatives and family members have all come together to help drive this dream forward.
It takes vision, drive and determination to take on a task as monumental as this. Poverty affects billions of people across the globe and money has been going towards it for years, so what’s so different with Team EC?
Well, they believe that the problem is not about people not trying to help, but not helping in the right way.
If instead of giving a man and his children a handout of free food every day we got him a job, he’d be able to work and buy that food himself, eliminating his dependency on charity.
That’s the aim but only a small part of what Empowering Communities are achieving.
In order to achieve these lofty goals, money has to be raised. So day in and day out you’ll see different volunteers doing their little bit to help raise money for this unbelievable cause.
You might see them standing on the streets in their blue and white t-shirts, braving the cold, wind and rain holding buckets asking for your donations.
Sometimes they even get help from your favourite cartoon characters. You might even see a few of their volunteers running in and out of shops.
That’s because Empowering Communities has the most charity collection boxes of any charity in the country. With 20,000 boxes from Dundee to Brighton, it’s their main source of fundraising.
Whether it’s collecting a box from a shop or holding a bucket in the street, the fact is that money needs to be raised in order to continue the work that this amazing group of people have done, and hopefully help empower even more people.
Today there a thousands of people touched by their progress. Women who had no hope, children who were looking at a lifetime of slavery and even the ill and elderly who had accepted their fate of painful, lonely and humiliating years leading to their death.
All of these people and more have been helped by the fantastic volunteers that have helped bring a dream to life.
However this is only the beginning of the journey, not the end. Empowering Communities are looking for many more people with huge hearts of gold to help them continue their mission. We had a chance to catch up with Azeem Yasin, from Empowering Communities, for a quick few words.
“I’m nothing special, I’m a regular guy with a wife and kids but sometimes you think that, I’ve got kids and I love em to death….but what if they couldn’t go to school or had to work on the street polishing shoes or fixing wheels because that was the only way they could get a square meal?” he said.
“That would rip me apart. So why shouldn’t I try to help those children who are in that position? So if that means standing with a bucket, running in and out shops or climbing Mt Snowdon, I’ll do it.
“At least then I know that I’m trying to help someone and make a difference in the world.”
This month fundraisers from Team EC will be trekking up Wales’ highest peak, Mt Snowdon, to raise money for the refugee shelter that they’ve begun work on in Pakistan.
You can help too by signing up to climb Mt Snowdon on 10th October with only £100 sponsorship required. Transport will be provided and everybody will be leaving at 7am and ready to conquer this mountain for charity.
Of course not everybody can climb a mountain but that doesn’t mean people don’t want to help.
Alternatively, you can text EMPOWER to 70660 to give £3 or go online at www.empoweringcommunities.org or even call the office at 01274 502 750 to make a different donation or even set up a direct debit.