A businessman has been moved to a help a seven-year-old in poverty after seeing a “haunting” image of the child’s bare bedroom.
A charity shared a heartbreaking picture of the child’s empty room to highlight the stark reality of child poverty.
Zarach – a Leeds-based charity that deliver beds and basics to children in need – shared the image to highlight what life is like for children swept up in the “poverty crisis” for its fundraising campaign.
The JustGiving drive asked people to help “fleeing families” make their house a home by funding new carpets and flooring.
Businessman Shahid Raqib, 43, from Leeds, was moved by the picture and knew he had to do something to help.
In an amazing act of kindness, he’s since pledged to donate 100 bedroom carpets – or more, if his “accountant lets him” – to children whose parents can’t afford to purchase their own.
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Speaking to Leeds Live
, Shahid, who owns SR Carpets & Floors and runs a warehouse in Bradford and carpet shops in Leeds, said: “I saw the story on social media and I thought it was appalling that children had to live like that.
“The picture just got me. I’ve worked in carpets all my life, my father had a carpet shop, so it struck me there was no carpets in the bedroom.
“And even though the charity was fundraising for carpets and flooring, I just thought, ‘How can I have a warehouse full of carpets when there are children sleeping nearby without any carpets?’.
“No carpets means there’s also a lack of warmth and I just couldn’t justify it in my head. It didn’t feel right not to help.”
He added: “I am a father myself, I have three boys, and if they couldn’t afford carpets, imagine what else they’re struggling with.
“If I can help to provide carpets, at least I can help take away one burden among the many others they may have.”
Shahid has since been in touch with the charity to put a plan together for how best to donate the carpets and arrange the delivery.
He said: “We’re currently putting a plan in place – I want to make sure they get a choice on the carpets they get, and we need to arrange delivery and to send people down to measure and make sure we get the right sized carpets.
“I’ll also, wherever necessary, add in underlay free of charge as well.
“I just want to help as many people as possible that genuinely can’t afford it.”
Shahid, who has previously donated carpets to those whose homes had been flooded, continued: “I always try to give back and help where I can.
“We’re not a massive company but we have a big heart.
“It’s only right that we do a good deed. If we’re taking business from local customers we need to give back where we can – we can’t always listen to the accountant.
“Some businesses obsess over costs and don’t always have the heart to do it. But you have to be strong and courageous in business and take financial risks.
“You have a business to earn a living, but it’s so fulfilling to give back when you can.”
On the JustGiving page, Zarach founder Bex Wilson explained why it was vital for the funds to be raised.
She said: “This photo of a seven-year-old’s bedroom has haunted me all week.
“We delivered this bed bundle last Thursday. This isn’t a ‘we’ve just moved in and the furniture, flooring, curtains etc are on there way’ scenario. This. Is. It.
“The truth is we see children living in houses with NOTHING so often and for a huge range of reasons.
“I’ve heard many stories of the journey to this ‘nothingness’ level of poverty crisis. Never is it a choice.”
She noted that what “every story” had in common was that each child had either “broken-hearted” parents or parents “struggling to make ends meet”.
To donate you can visit the page here .