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Newmarket sisters' Mother's Day fundraiser raises $2,520 for Inn From the Cold

Manha Yusuf, 10, and Laiba Yusuf, 8, who surpassed their fundraising goal of $2,000 for the Newmarket homeless shelter, are already planning their next fundraiser

Two of Newmarket’s most determined young volunteers are celebrating another successful fundraising campaign.

Manha Yusuf, 10, and Laiba Yusuf, 8, have raised another $2,520 for Newmarket homeless shelter Inn From the Cold by selling bouquets, baskets of fresh fruit, and seasonal planters for Mother’s Day.

The generosity and ongoing support of the community saw the sisters receive 125 total orders, helping them surpass their original $2,000 fundraising goal.

“We give a tremendous thank you to everybody who comes and supports us each time,” said Nisa Chaudhry, the girls’ mother. “It’s really inspiring for the girls to move on and continue with their efforts.”

The money raised through the sisters’ fundraiser will be going toward essential items such as food, transportation, and personal care items for those in need.

Ann Watson, executive director of Inn From the Cold, commended the girls for their “enthusiasm and freshness” after the “substantial” donation was delivered on Friday.

“Fundraising isn’t a chore for them, it’s a pleasure,” said Watson. “They really seem to enjoy it. It’s contagious.”

The Mother's Day fundraiser marks the latest success for Manha and Laiba, who have fundraised on a near-monthly basis since 2019. The girls volunteer in honour of their late aunt, who was herself a strong believer in giving back to the community.

Just some of Manha and Laiba’s many fundraisers have included two back-to-school drives in support of York Region homeless shelters 360°kids and Yellow Brick House, two holiday campaigns in support of Rose of Sharon Services for Young Mothers and the Canadian Mental Health Association, and a toy drive for SickKids. The girls’ efforts have seen them host charity barbecues and basketball tournaments, and sell a variety of gifts and treats to raise money for those in need. Each new campaign is documented on the sisters’ Facebook page.

Their most recent Mother's Day fundraiser is the second time the girls have supported Inn From the Cold. A Valentine’s Day fundraiser held earlier this year raised $1,630, equivalent to 3.5 nights of shelter for the homeless.

To date, Manha and Laiba have raised more than $22,000 for local charities. They’re currently planning their third annual back to school drive, and hope to donate 100 backpacks stuffed with school supplies to youth shelters and those in need.

Their tradition of volunteering has been commended, with Manha recently winning Youth Service America’s Everyday Young Hero award.

“The girls have been very confident in speaking about what they’re doing at this very young age,” said Chaudhry. “It makes me very happy. The community is helping them grow. I’m really thankful to everybody.”