Beautiful Women - Rana Bokhari
Written by Holli Moncrieff
Bokhari’s habit of saving the world began when she heard about the devastating Ḁoods in the Philippines last year.
“It really bothered me, and I felt like we (the law students) could do something. We’re a good group of people. School gave me an opening,” says Bokhari, 34, who is president of the Manitoba Law Students Association and a student at the University of Manitoba.
Once she put together one successful fundraiser, she was driven to do more. She organized beneἀts for Winnipeg Harvest, a beneἀt concert for Haiti that raised between $18,000 and $20,000, and another concert for the East African famine. All told, Bokhari’s efforts have raised thousands of dollars for causes at home and around the world.
“When I started hearing about East Africa, I waited for two weeks to see if anyone was going to do anything about it, but nothing came up,” Bokhari recalls. So she called Assiniboine Park, booked the Lyric Theatre, and then contacted Ace Burpee of HOT 103 for help. Within weeks, she had a successful event that raised thousands of dollars.
She also organized a sit-down dinner to raise funds for those affected by the Ḁooding in Pakistan, for which she garnered nearly $12,000. As she was interviewed for this article, she was planning a social for the Victoria Hospital in early March.
“I don’t sleep a lot. I run on the energy that comes from the end result,” says Bokhari, who had three papers due, a presentation, and ἀnals to study for while she was organizing the hospital fundraiser. “This is something they need, and I have the ability to do it. I take this very, very seriously. I couldn’t let anybody down.”
RanaBOKHARIAfter graduation, Bokhari has decided to article with a smaller ἀrm that will support her fundraising efforts.
“This is a huge part of my life, and I had to know I could put work on hold to do what I have to do,” she says. “I’m surrounded by people who support me. I’d be a really crappy person if I didn’t do this.”
While it started out as a local effort, Bokhari now receives donations worldwide through her social media skills. She spends a lot of time carefully researching where her fundraising dollars are best spent, and has built relationships with Doctors without Borders and the Mennonite Central Committee.
Bokhari, a world traveler who lived in Pakistan for several years, says the motivation to help others was inherited from her parents.
“They’d always tell us ‘there’s a billion people who have it worse than you. Why don’t you think about them for a second? ’ That’s how my family is. They support this in every way. It’s an expectation now.”
To keep up with Bokhari’s fundraising efforts, you can ἀnd her on Twitter or Facebook.
“Now when something happens, people call me,” she says. “No way I could say no to them, ever.”