Muslims to Serve 25,000
Homeless in 19 Cities during Ramadan
Buena Park, CA: For the
sixth consecutive year, Muslims across the United States will
be taking to the streets to help serve the homeless while
fasting in the month of Ramadan. The annual 'Humanitarian
Day' for the homeless event, coordinated nationwide by Islamic
Relief for the third year, is extending to 19 cities this
year and will serve an estimated 25,000 needy people in the
weekend of Sept. 29-30.
Last year's event helped serve over 18,000 homeless and needy
people in 14 cities across the United States. Muslims throughout
the participating cities helped serve food and other much-needed
supplies as they observed their fast in the holy month of
Volunteers in the 14 cities converged in local neighborhoods
to provide essentials to the homeless such as a warm meal,
a gift package including hygiene and emergency kits, bath
towels, clothing, blankets, ponchos, and toys for children.
In addition, free of charge HIV/AIDS screenings, flu vaccinations,
educational materials and referral information were also provided.
"Government entities, community organizations and religious
institutions are among the partners for Humanitarian Day,"
said Clareen Menzies, Islamic Relief's Domestic Projects Manager.
"In 2006, a total of 102 partners scattered across the
country assisted volunteer groups," she said.
"My first experience of Humanitarian Day was something
I will never forget; something I will probably carry for the
rest of my life," noted a first-time volunteer. "Physically
helping people less fortunate than I am was something different
from giving zakah (mandatory almsgiving for Muslims). My main
goal wasn't to hand out shirts or supplies, it was just to
bring a smile to their faces and bring a little hope to their
lives. The people were so polite, thankful and humorous that
I couldn't help but smile to myself."
The Boston Herald reported, "'You don't see much out
there to try to help people who are in need,” a homeless
veteran said. It was a declaration of appreciation for the
'Humanitarian Day for the Homeless' event at the center, sponsored
by Islamic Relief."
Islamic Relief's domestic projects have increased tremendously
over the years. In addition to responding to emergencies such
as Hurricane Katrina – where $3.2 million in aid has
been provided to help over 60,000 people - Islamic Relief
is continuously involved in assisting needy individuals and
families within the US and working with community organizations
to improve people's livelihoods.
Media professionals may contact Islamic Relief for further
background on 'Humanitarian Day' and interviews with organizers.
WHAT: 6th Annual 'Humanitarian Day' for the Homeless
WHEN: Saturday and Sunday
September 29-30, 2007
WHERE: Baltimore, Baton Rouge, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Detroit,
Elizabeth-NJ, Fort Thompson-SD, Houston, Kalamazoo-MI, Las
Vegas, Minneapolis, New Orleans, New York, Newark, Philadelphia,
Phoenix, Seattle, Washington DC.