Kamran Farid on giving back, even when there’s little to give

Looking back know, Kamran recognizes that when he was growing up his family would have been considered poor by those around them. Even though his family struggled financially, you never would have known it by their demeanor. Kamran’s father worked three jobs while his mother, Salma, stayed home with her six children. She was very nurturing and always made everyone feel proud to be a part of their family. She ensured that Kamran and his siblings were dressed and groomed well. His mother came from a strong family culture and she instilled manners in her children, from respecting your elders to opening doors and saying yes sir and yes ma’am. Because his father had to take the family’s only car to work, the rest of the family had to travel by foot. Kamran and his siblings always joined their mother as she walked five miles to get groceries to feed their eight person family. Everyone divided up the grocery bags and carried them home. His mother was very proud and her children followed in her footsteps. They never felt ashamed. They would do whatever it took to help their family survive.

As they grew up, Kamran and his five siblings also worked hard to help support their family. They had a very entrepreneurial spirit and would do everything from delivering newspapers to shoveling driveways. Their neighbors were always impressed by how respectful they were and how hard they worked as a team. The children gave every penny they earned to their parents, no questions asked.

Their home was always immaculate and when any guest came over – from a family friend to a repairman - his mother always made sure they were well fed and taken care of. When you walked into her home she made you feel welcome and as if you were the most important person in the room. She was an amazing cook and would send her children to the neighbors to share her sweet dishes with them.

Even though times were difficult, Kamran’s mother would always find a way to help those who were even less fortunate. Time and time again she taught her children by example that taking care of people around you is simply a part of daily life.

Today, Kamran’s family has been very successful and blessed. But what stands out to him the most are the amazing actions of his mother. He has created the Kamran Farid Foundation to continue his family’s long tradition of taking care of those who need it most.

Kamran Farid is the Co-Founder and Former Chief Operating Officer of Edible Arrangements International, a company that he and his brother created in 1999. The Kamran Farid Foundation, inspired by his mother, helps identify and support unmet and often unrecognized needs in communities around the world. The foundation is focused on creating a sustainable, brighter future for the people it supports. Follow Kamran on Twitter @kamranf.