ICNA Relief Stories
ICNA Relief Chicago's Second Ramadan Food Basket and Toy Giveaway
Last week, volunteers and staff from ICNA Relief Chicago assembled together despite a rainy day to distribute
325 boxes of food to low-income residents so they could have enough to eat in Ramadan.
This week ICNA Relief Chicago held a 'Toy Giveaway' at Arab American Family Services in Bridgeview where they
distributed 125 toys to little girls and boys just in time for Eid. The 500 toys remaining from a toy drive held earlier
will be distributed at other locations inshaAllah.
Jazakullah Khairan to all the volunteers for their great efforts!
Fasting Muslims Run 5K Marathon to Raise Money for ICNA Relief USA and Other Charities
Groups of fasting Muslims ran a 5K (5 km or 3.1 mi) marathon in on Sunday in five States; Boston, Washington DC, New York, Houston, and S. California to raise much needed funds for non-profit organizations which emphasis education among underprivileged youth. The runners raised over $25,000 which will be distributed among the organizations each group will support.
ICNA Relief MA's Director; Sr. Malika MacDonald-Rushdan was at the finish line anxiously awaiting the runners, who were welcomed by party horns and applause from onlookers, as they made their way it into home base with the call of the adhan for Maghrib salaat. Gatorade, dates and protein bars were distributed among the tired and thirsty fasting runners. "MashaAllah what a wonderful initiative, ICNA Relief MA is humbled by the runners who while fasting participated in such an event," Sr. Malika said.
Losing Everything in Middle Age and Starting Over
Bilal Usmani's life came crashing down right before his eyes. His 25-year-old marriage had ended in divorce during his middle age, he was engulfed in severe depression and he had lost his job. After a brief trip to Florida, his doctor advised him to go back to Ohio, where he had been previously living because he was used to life there . He moved to a small town in the state called Mansfield, but needed to find a job soon in order to have enough rent for his apartment. His car, which was the only means to finding a job in area with little public transportation, soon failed him as well.
"I was totally broke," Br. Bilal said. "I had nowhere to look except God."
That's when he googled Muslim charities and found out about ICNA Relief USA, a Muslim charity founded specifically to help Muslim and non-Muslim Americans in need. He eventually got in touch with Br. Shahid Farooqi, director of outreach ICNA Relief Northeast Region, who provided him with $200 to get his car repaired and $400 for rent so he wouldn't have to leave his apartment.
"I'm very thankful to Allah," said Br. Bilal on getting support from ICNA Relief. "Because He has an angel, somebody like Br. Farooqi, who went out of his way to help me and today I am at the place where I am."
After Br. Bilal's car was repaired, he landed a job at a restaurant for $9 an hour, which will rise to $11 with benefits have his three month trial period is over.
"I saw real sincerity in this person," Br. Shahid said. "He asked specific amount just to fix his car and you could see he is saying the truth and not making anything up."
Br. Shahid was also heartened to find that Br. Bilal enlisted as a volunteer for ICNA Relief. He drove to different masaajid around him just to distribute fliers and even called him to inform and update him on his activities.
Getting help from ICNA Relief when he needed it most, reminded the Pakistani-American Br. Bilal about an incident from his childhood living in Karachi. Being an orphan, he lived with his maternal aunt who one day asked him to give a few coins to a beggar who rang their doorbell. Being a kid and seeing the man in front of him healthy-looking, he told his aunt there was no need. However, his aunt had him give the money anyway adding that, "If anybody asks you for something and if you can help him, then help him. Don't judge him."
Br. Bilal now looks back at this incident in renewed understanding. "I was wearing good clothes and had a car," he said, which caused people to think he was doing well. "But I was very poor. When I put my hand in my pocket, there was nothing in it."
He now urges Muslims to follow the examples of their ancestors like Umer Farooq (R.A.) who he quotes once said "it's not that people who need money are bad, but that someday anyone can be in need of some money."Add a comment
The Great Ramadan Food Basket Giveaway 2014
ICNA Relief Chicago held a Ramadan food box giveaway on June 28th, a day before Ramadan started, at the Chicago Dawah Center. Around 182 families from a variety of demographics including Malaysians, Somalians, Burmese, Tunisian, Syrian, Iraqi, Pakistani, Indian, Moroccan and Algerian received received the food boxes. Dr. Rabia Zizine, Chicago food pantry manager, clad in an orange and green hijab signifying ICNA Relief's colors, said it was important to give out the food supplies as early as possible so families could actually use them in Ramadan. ICNA Relief Chicago's food pantry is also the only pantry offering halal meat in the area.
MashaAllah, the Dawah Center was packed and clients greatly appreciated the food boxes they received which consisted of ethnic items such as rooh afza (sweet syrup made of roses and fruits) and besan (chickpea flour) for Pakistani and Indian clients as well as items like ful (fava beans) and couscous for Arab clients.
Dr. Rabia recounted a heartfelt amount when a 4-year-old boy named Zaid came told his mom that "Aunty Rabia makes miracles. How come everything we need, they have it?" He was referring to getting items like roof afza and Nutella, hazelnut spread.
ICNA Relief Chicago once again thanks Ziyad Foods for its generous 3,000 lbs donation earlier and also our private donors who donated $900 worth of groceries.
Alhumdilillah 71 men, women and children received food during the first week of ICNA Relief MA's Ramadan Food Distribution. This is a special program for the Month of Ramadan to ensure all those in the community who are in need have all the essentials for Ramadan; flour, sugar, milk, tea, rice and more
MashaAllah through generous donations from the community we've been able to serve some of the most deserving among us - we also supplied 2 local area Masjids with tea, sugar and milk for their daily Suhoors. JazakullahKhair once again, without your support none of this would be possible.
We also received a 50 pound shipment direct from Saudi Arabia of Medina Dates MashaAllah!
Thank you in advance for your continued support. Also please refer someone if they are in need of food security InshaAllah. We will distribute food each throughout the month of Ramadan while supplies last InshaAllah.
ICNA Relief MA Ramadan Food DistributionWednesdays
100 Malcolm X Blvd, Boston, MA 02120
100 Malcolm X Blvd, Boston, MA 02120
Volunteers in Atlanta prepared Ramadan food boxes which they distributed before the start of the month. Each box contained: 20 pound bag of rice, beans, lentils, coffee, sugar, tea, salt and a gift card for Halal meat.
More than 75 volunteers from various local Islamic groups including ICNA Relief showed up at the Islamic Foundation of South Florida to prepare Ramadan food boxes. Around $13,000 of food was packed in 130 boxes, that would help 280 families have enough food on their table for suhoor and iftar this Ramadan. The boxes contained items like cooking oil, flour, lentils, dates and canned fruits among many other items. Another distribution event will be held at IFSF on July 20th.