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Hub for Good

Meet Ilon. Ilon Tyan is a Carleton alumnus (BComm/09) and marketing director at Dreammind Group, a Canadian corporate conglomerate in the hospitality and entertainment industry.

While at Carleton, Ilon was a highly engaged student; he was involved with many clubs and societies during his undergraduate degree. Through these extracurricular activities, he developed a diverse skillset that serves him well in his daily life and marketing career—and that also serve Operation Ramzieh.

Operation Ramzieh, a group of volunteers led by Dreammind president Abbis Mahmoud, has been working closely with local groups in the Ottawa community to support at-risk individuals during the pandemic.

Operation Ramzieh founder Abbis Mahmoud.

Named after Abbis’ mother—who helped those in need back in his home country of Lebanon—Operation Ramzieh has distributed thousands of emergency food and supply kits to vulnerable populations. Operation Ramzieh’s efforts have focused primarily on seniors and other high-risk individuals who, due to their increased risk of developing severe symptoms from COVID-19, may be reluctant to leave their homes to acquire essential items.

For Ilon, this initiative hit close to home: his parents are elderly, and his mother is a stroke survivor and is currently battling cancer. He understands first-hand the critical importance of supporting and assisting these vulnerable populations through volunteer efforts and resource allocation.

In Ilon’s eyes, it’s not a choice to help out—it’s a moral obligation. He explains: “The thought of them [seniors] relying on an app (that they don’t know how to use) to order groceries is cringe-worthy. The seniors who are our parents, grandparents, pillars of the community, mentors and friends need our help now more than ever.”

Ilon Tyan and other Operation Ramzieh volunteers delivering kits.

Ilon is a passionate leader in our community and has been an integral part of this initiative. Now, he says, is the time for us to get together, support one another and fight this war. As city services are overwhelmed, Ilon and the Operation Ramzieh team strive to fill gaps—helping both individuals and community organizations that are lacking resources and struggling under the increased load.

“If you’re feeling frustrated because you’re having a hard time finding the grocery items you want, can you imagine how you would feel if you couldn’t afford to get groceries at all? There are many volunteer-based programs that are no longer available; the result is that many people, especially the most vulnerable, are falling through the cracks,” Ilon explains.

Operation Ramzieh’s impact cannot be ignored; the team’s efforts have been passionately recognized and appreciated within the community it serves.

“I have tears of gratitude in my eyes after receiving a surprise basket of food today, through your organization,” says an anonymous client who received a kit through one of Operation Ramzieh’s partner organizations. “As a housebound adult (non-senior) with health issues, I am often forgotten by the community and our government officials. Thank you so much to all who are involved in this service, and for partnering with organizations that remember the many other  vulnerable people living alongside the rest of the population.”

This kind of heartfelt feedback, Ilon says, drives him and his team to keep going.

In order to expand the reach and impact of this initiative, Operation Ramzieh is raising funds through a GoFundMe page. Click here to get involved.

Learn more about Operation Ramzieh’s efforts here.

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