Tariq Farid has made business news headlines lately -- USA Today, Bloomberg TV, Entrepreneur.com, Forbes.com, and Inc.com. But when he got off the phone from his most recent interview, he wasn’t reflecting on the amazing success of his business.
“I was thinking of my grandmother,” he said later in a meeting with IRIS-Integrated Refugee & Immigrant Services staff. He remembered how his grandmother fled India as a refugee, a widow with three children, forcibly removed from their home and land and sent to live in the newly partitioned country of Pakistan.
Then Mr. Farid remembered a contact he made at a Connecticut Immigrant Day event several years ago. Since it was the end of the year and Mr. Farid was getting ready to make his annual gift on behalf of the Farid Foundation, he sent an email to Chris George, Executive Director at IRIS. The subject line said simply "We'd like to help!"
George was thrilled to receive Mr. Farid’s message. “This was an amazing holiday surprise for us.” said George. “It had been a very tough year, with so many refugees arriving. The timing of this gift could not have been better.”
IRIS was in the middle of its annual appeal, and a $25,000 gift would make a huge difference in the lives of refugees newly arrived in New Haven. Mr. George invited Mr. Farid to the IRIS office to meet clients and staff.
Mr. Farid’s personal connection to IRIS clients--and his particular concern for refugee widows with children--was immediately evident. Upon arrival, he met an Afghan single mother of three who had just arrived days earlier. He learned that IRIS has resettled 15 single women-headed households in 2012 and they continue to serve others who arrived in 2011.
Mr. Farid instinctively recognized the more acute challenges these women face, because they often come from cultures in which they did not work outside the home. Now they need to both provide childcare and work, while also overcoming health, language and educational barriers. The Edible Arrangements International CEO asked that his gift be used to address their needs.
Upon his departure from IRIS, Mr. Farid recalled a vivid memory of his grandmother. "She told me, ‘I see success in your future.’"
His grandmother would be proud to know that helping others – including refugee newcomers to Connecticut -- is one way Tariq Farid measures his success.
About the Farid Foundation
The Farid Foundation is a 501 (c)(3) philanthropic organization established in 2005 by brothers Tariq and Kamran Farid, founders of Edible Arrangements International, as a way to support worthwhile causes both at home and around the world.
Since then, the Foundation's contributions have benefited dozens of programs and services, including hospitals, schools, community centers, soup kitchens, revitalization efforts as well as organizations fighting poverty, childhood cancer and promoting leadership opportunities for youth.