ICNA Relief Blog



Subject: Note of Thanks

Assalamu Aliakum brothers,

My son and I wish to express warm thanks to ICNA Relief Florida for the beautiful red and gray backpack. My son was thrilled with it, and quickly packed it up with his folders and books and took it to school on Friday!  It is wonderful quality and style, also. Much appreciated. As a single mother this is the great help. May Allah reward you guys for what you brother(s) do for our community. 

Thank you,

A Sister from South Florida 

(Name withheld for privacy reasons)


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ICNA Relief's Back 2 School Giveaways in Cities Across the Country

Find out about giveaways near you!


New York:

On September 5th, ICNA Relief held a giveaway at the site of the future ICNA Brooklyn Youth Center.



New Jersey:


ICNA Relief held a Back 2 School Giveaway in Teaneck late August. A total of 200 bags filled with supplies were given away. Residents of the area were grateful for the help. 

"It's helps people who can't afford school supplies. It's very useful to the community," said. Nicole Martinez

"I have a daughter going to kindergarten and a son going into eighth grade. It helps since backpacks are expensive," said another mother, who wished to stay anonymous.



Jersey City

ICNA Relief held two giveaways in Jersey City recently -- one with Islamic Learning Center of Jersey City and one at Masjid Al hoda. We could not have done this without volunteers such as Young Muslims of Jersey City and Masjid Alhoda Youth Jazakum Allah Khair!







Your donations to our Back2School Campaign brought smiles to so many children! We distributed 270 backpacks, including supplies, in Roger's Park, IL alone.

Says six-year-old, first grader, Sarah, who's attending school in the USA, for the first time, "I like the bag alot and I picked green because it's shiny. I like the things inside.I am going to use it in my school. A big hug and love to you."

Jazak Allah for giving Sarah, and so many like her, a head start!








On August 29th after a violent night in the city of Boston with 5 incidents of gun violence, ICNA Relief MA distributed 200 backpacks filled with school supplies just one street over from where there was a murder the night before.

ICNA Relief MA set up their distribution in the Grove Hall community which has experienced an escalation in gun violence this summer. The neighborhood was a bustle of activity with the Caribbean Carnival procession happening only blocks away. Families en-route to enjoy the Caribbean parade were greeted by ICNA Relief volunteers who passed out free school supplies to excited children who will be returning to school next week.

Students both young and old from a local Somali madressa at Masjid Al-Quran also received backpacks. It was thrilling to see students in Quran class who still had the backpacks that ICNA Relief gave them last year Alhumdilillah.

Volunteers for the day included Inter-faith partners from the Jewish community and staff from Project Right, a local Community Development Corporation.




ICNA Relief Georgia distributed backpacks containing school supplies at Mohammad School in Atlanta, GA on Aug. 1st. The school is located close to Masjid Al Islam.  The Mohammad School is the oldest Muslim school in Atlanta. In 1980, the community came together to fulfill the dream of Sister Clara Mohammed and opened an Islamic Institution that saluted her by naming the school the Sister Clara Mohammed School.​ In 1989,  its 9th -12th grade program was renamed W.D. Mohammed High School, or simply as Mohammad School. ICNA Relief Georgia's annual Back 2 School Giveaway is part of the tradition at this institution; we provide free backpacks to students here at the beginning of each school year. Alhumdulillah.



Thank You Target for Supporting Us Every Year!

 "​The Dallas Road TARGET in Marietta, GA is a fan of ICNA Relief's Back 2 School Giveaways. Last year they dozens of donated backpack and notebooks. They are supporting us again this year with gift cards and will donate leftover backpacks at the end of the summer (that we will give away next year). Thank you Target!"

- Br. Hamid Qureshi, ICNA Relief Georgia




ICNA Relief Houston held a Back 2 School Giveaway the branch's food pantry on Aug. 10th. More than 1,500 backpacks are packaged and distributed among underprivileged neighborhoods and to children of refugees. Shabbir Hasan, ICNA Relief's Community Outreach Coordinator (second from the left) being awarded with his certificate of recognition by Council Member Mike Laster, District J.






By the mercy of Allah,  ICNA Relief Dallas’ Back 2 School Giveaway was conducted at the ICNA Relief Dallas Food Pantry on Aug. 1st. Children were waiting by the venue 3 hours before the event even started. We gave out 300 school bags packed with the needed accessories in only an hour and a half. Br Hamza Abdullah, Br Asif Mehmood along with his family and Br Zaid Fakhri came out to help. May Allah reward them.  

ICNA Relief Dallas iniatiated their program in late July by focusing on Syrian families (first picture from the left) who recently arrived and are being helped by us in smoothening their resettlement process.




On Saturday July 11th, local ICNA Relief distributed 200 school bags filled with school supplies to the Garden Grove community. They were joined by special guest Mayor Bao Nguyen.

For Muslims, an essential part of the faith is the principle of giving and being a good neighbor. This initiative is part of ICNA Relief’s national annual Back-2-School Giveaway Project, which is hosting over 45 similar events across the U.S in over 15 states. These efforts are helping over 15,000 children nationwide, where children will be receiving school bags filled with supplies such as notebooks, pens, pencils, sharpeners, erasers, rulers, crayons and scissors.

ICNA Relief and our partners hope this initiative caters to the needs of low-income families in the community, regardless of their race, gender or religion. Many families are under financial pressure; some have lost jobs and find it difficult to buy school supplies for their children. Through the Back to School Giveaway, we hope to both help struggling families provide for their children and inspire the American Muslim community to partake in this commendable act. ICNA Relief So Cal will be partnering with Islamic Society of Orange County-Garden Grove, Islamic Institute of Orange County-Anaheim, ISLAH-LA, Masjid Al Sabireen-Pomona, Masjid Al Shareef-Long Beach and Masjid La Mirada. 



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ICNA Relief Massachusetts has been particularly busy this year during Back 2 School Giveaway season. The branch has held close to a dozen giveaways this year and there's still a couple more to come.
1) ICNA Relief MA distributed 350 backpacks at Fall River. There was a line of nearly 500 people. When bags ran out, we distributed supplies, and took down names and numbers to arrange for them to pick bags up, when we order more inshaAllah.
2) 132 Backpacks distributed out of the German Town Neighborhood center in Quincy, MA. Great time, wonderful children, and great volunteers! Quote of the Day: "Mom, look! I even got a sharpener!
3) ICNA Relief MA gave away 220 backpacks, with a great team of volunteers including the Deen4Teens group at the Islamic Society of Boston Cultural Center. 
4) They distributed backpacks and school supplies at the International Institute of Boston in Lowell, MA to newly arrived Refugee families. The families who received the school bags have each been in the country 2 months or less; from places such as Bhutan, the Congo, Afghanistan and Iraq.
5) Over 1,500 people attend the annual event! Pics from the ICNA Relief MA Back 2 School giveaway in Chelsea, MA as part of the City of Chelsea annual celebration. ICNA Relief MA distributed 300 backpacks filled with free school supplies.
6) ICNA Relief MA Director Sr. Malika MacDonald presented Sr.Amina El-Alami, principle of Malik Academy Elementary School, with 20 backpacks filled with school supplies for students who may come to school unprepared or to help families who may be struggling InshaAllah.
7) ICNA Relief MA Lead Community Organizer Br Ariz Saleem took the Back 2 School Giveaway to Worcester, MA. 20 backpacks filled with school supplies were presented to Sr. Sawsan Berjawi, principle of Al-Huda Islamic School.

ICNA Relief USA understands the cost of a quality education, this year ICNA Relief in Massachusetts decided to support our Islamic Schools, giving a little relief to those families who find it difficult to provide all the essentials for a quality education.

8) ICNA Relief MA delivered 40 backpacks filled with school supplies to the Al-Firdous After-School program in Malden, MA. Imam Hamid was on hand to accept and I had the honor to give a trophy to a little Muslim who earned 1st place in a Quran Competition MashaAllah!







Check out Facebook for more pictures!

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ICNA Relief's Back 2 School Giveaways Hit Neighborhoods Across Boston
1) August 20th at ISBCC: 350 back packs were assembled with supplies like notebooks, color pencils and erasers to be given away.
2) August 21th at Williams Public School: This was our first collaboration with the City's own Back To School event. 300 back packs were given out to students of the school.
3) August 23rd at Perkins School: 150 back packs were given to students from Kindergarten to 5th grade.
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ICNA Relief Holds Back 2 School Giveaways Across Atlanta

Alhumdulillah, ICNA Relief Atlanta kicked off our annual Back 2 School Giveaway this year with events in four locations. 

1) On August 1st, D.H Stanton Elementary school invited ICNA Relief Atlanta to support and distribute backpacks filled with school supplies to low-income children in their school residential zone. ICNA Relief Asst. Director Br. Abdul Rauf attended this event and had a brief discussion with principal Dr. Clara Taylor as well.

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2) For the very first time Atlanta's Mayor's office invited ICNA Relief to participate in their yearly Back 2 School Expo at Adamsville Recreation Center held on August 2nd. Many big companies like Staples, Chick-Fil-A and nonprofit organizations like HOSEA and Fountain of Hope participated in this event as well. ICNA Relief distributed backpacks and school supplies to needy children in this event. Br. Hamid Qureshi met Atlanta City councilmen C.T. Martin and Andre Dickens at the event.

3) On August 5th, ICNA Relief Atlanta also arranged a backpack distribution at the Gainesville, Atlanta Masjid. Gainesville school board member Mr. Willie Mitchell along with local Masjid Imam Bilal distributed more than 50 backpacks to families with ICNA Relief staff.

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4) The August 7th Back 2 School Giveaway was held at Baitul Salam in Stone Mountain, GA. ICNA Relief Atlanta including Br. Hamid and Br. Uzair distributed more than 30 backpacks to local families in need.

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Here's How To Get Free School Supplies for the Kids:
Did you know that the average family is expected to spend $669 on school supplies this year? This article from The Christian Science Monitor lays out the details and directs cash-strapped parents to free resources. We're happy to note that ICNA Relief's own Back 2 School Giveaway program gets a shout out in the article as well!
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ICNA Relief Gives Away 400 Back Packs at P.S. 55 in the Bronx 

On August 9th ICNA Relief USA, a domestic Muslim charity, gave out 400 back packs filled with school supplies like notebooks, pencils and sharpners to students at P.S. 55 in the South Bronx as part of its annual “Back 2 School Giveaway.”

Student volunteers clad in yellow ICNA Relief shirts with the words “Education is Power” stood as if in an assembly line picking up book bags and passing them along the row to be filled with school supplies. Meanwhile, their fellow students sat in the auditorium next door watching West African performers as part of the Cultural African Preservation’s first annual Student Award Ceremony.

“Everything that’s being given away is helpful because this is already the poorest community in the South Bronx,” said 17-year-old volunteer Fatima who helped fill up some of the 400 back packs with highlighters and erasers. “People have a lot of kids here. These little things might be a big help for somebody.”

According to New York State school statistics, 96 percent of P.S. 55 students come from economically disadvantaged backgrounds; 91 percent qualify for free lunch.

For the past several years, ICNA Relief has given out thousands of free book bags with school supplies in low-income neighborhoods across the country. Last year, the charity gave out more than 18,000 in 65 different locations.

ICNA Relief’s Northeast Director of Outreach, Shahid Farooqi, presented high-achieving students with the back packs and then subsequently given to all other students in attendance.

“We at ICNA Relief believe that there should not be even one child without the tools for a good education,” he said. “Our Back To School Giveaway program is about empowering families across America and promoting the importance of education.”




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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. 
In Boston, ICNA Relief MA is among the organizations which will receive a share of funds raised to support the Boston area's 'Back 2 School Giveaway' to be held later this summer inshaAllah.

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.
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5,000 Free Backpacks for Kids In Need

Harlemby Anna Schneider (InsideSchools.org)

Tuesday, 20 August 2013 – Islamic Circle North America’s annual backpack giveaway to New York City school children began in late July and lasts through September. The group will give away a total of 5,000 backpacks stuffed with back-to-school supplies to children in need of any religious faith.

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