The outpouring of love and support for Mujtaba Saloojee and his family continues to grow along the Sunshine Coast with the latest gesture coming from Extra Foods in Sechelt.
Extra Foods, through its President's Choice Children's Charity, presented a cheque for $20,000 to Muj and his family during a ceremony at the store on Thursday afternoon, April 25.
"It's wonderful to be able to help a child get the best start they can and change their life for the better," said owner Dave Sawatsky. "We at Extra Foods Sechelt are so proud to be able to help a great organization like President's Choice Children's Charity, which helps children in our own communities. We could never have achieved this significant contribution without the hard work of our staff and, of course, our valued customers."
The charity has given the Saloojee family the grant to help them with funding to go towards a specially equipped van for Muj.
Muj, through the support of his loving family, friends and an outpouring of support from the community, is determined to battle back from a catastrophic injury that left him a quadriplegic last summer.
According to his mom Zee, it will cost from $65,000 to $70,000 to purchase the vehicle.
"We've had an overwhelming response from people in the community that we know, that we don't know - it's just been so amazing that every time I think about it, it gets me very emotional," she said. "We're so grateful for this donation. This is huge for us and something that we have been waiting for. We're so grateful because every little bit helps."
Muj, along with his mom, dad Imran Goondiwala, brother Shahid Goondiwala and grandmothers Fatima Cajee and Najma Goondiwala, as well as MLA Nicholas Simons, joined the staff at Extra Foods for the presentation.
"I would like to thank all of you and the community that is helping me," said Muj, who also celebrated his 18th birthday the day of the presentation. "I would never have gotten this far without the community. The Sunshine Coast is amazing."
The team at Extra Foods raised the money towards the grant by selling paper icons in the store, direct employee donations and other staff supported fundraising.
"The team has done a fabulous job raising and donating money so we can help children like Muj, but there is so much more we need to do and so many more children we can help," Sawatsky said.
Since 1989, the President's Choice Children's Charity has awarded more than $72 million reaching more than 10,000 families and funding 4,000 nutrition programs across Canada.
© Coast Reporter