Over this past Eid Al-Fitr, Saudi Aramco sponsored holiday celebrations for thousands of orphaned boys and girls from all over the Kingdom. During the Holy Month of Ramadan, Aramco employees and contractors had purchased and donated a total of 14,000 gifts of children’s toys. Of these, about 4,000 were distributed at day-long festivals in Dhahran, Jeddah and Riyadh, and the rest sent to charitable organizations for distribution to orphans who were unable to attend the parties.
At Aramco headquarters in Dhahran, buses brought 976 youngsters aged 5 to 20 from towns and villages in the Eastern Province to spend the day enjoying a variety of activities, including contests, music, and sports. The 70 volunteers who supervised the event included members of boy scout troops and local residents as well as Aramco employees who gave up part of their holiday to bring goodwill to the children. Also participating were local soccer stars, who played an exhibition match with the orphans. Saudi Aramco CEO Abdullah Juma, distributing the gifts on behalf of the company's employees, commented that Aramco does not do this for publicity, but to give back to society; and expressed the hope that the event would inspire more people to volunteer their time to help the children.