I am Fatimah Wadood, Field coordinator and Case Manager with ICNA Relief. I have been working and volunteering with this organization for a little over two years. In this short time of doing service, I have been able to see how practicing small acts of kindness truly has an impact on our communities. Over the past 5+ years, we've offered:
Emergency rental assistance to avoid eviction.
Feed the Hungry program every Sunday, where we offer hot plates to the homeless downtown totalling in 450+ bellys fed per month.
Our annual Back to School giveway donates close to 2,000 free backpacks with school supplies to our communitys.
A food pantry that offers a free supply of monthly groceries and toiletries. Our food pantry clients total to about 400 households per month.
This alone has opened my eyes to see how many families are in true need of necessities as simple as bread, meat, and toilet paper. A lot of these families have homes, cars, full time employment, and even TANF benefits. But unfortunately with how iniquitous the economy has been,
a full-time job it is not efficient enough to support a full family. This is why it's so important for our communities to help with emergency resources. It takes one small unfortunate event to demolish a household and result in homelessness.
I recall during our coldest winter days, a refugee apartment complex had issues with their heating and air conditioning system. The units were occupied by large families with extreme hazardous living conditions. We partnered with Masjid Jafar and gave 80+ heaters to them. Knowing that the children could sleep better with a warmer home, made me appreciate even being able to afford a high power bill. We often take advantage of opportunities because we aren't aware of what a luxury it is, until it isn't anymore.
Working with ICNA Relief continues to humble me in the saddest of ways. But it builds me up into being a more conscious force and voice for our communities. I encourage everyone to practice small acts of kindness. I prefer to say acts of kindness instead of "programs we offer," because at the end of the day our services don't create permanent change overnight. Continuous love and support to our communitues is what creates change in them.
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Makkah International Institute