HHRD's 2014 Annual Banquet
By Fatima Farooki
Helping Hand USA held its 2014 Annual Banquet on Saturday, November 15th 2014, at The Hotel Fullerton. The guest speakers on the memorable day included Dr Muzammil Siddiqi, Imam Taha Hassane, Sh. Hasan Elwan, and Qari Yousuf.
The event started with the Invocation and Dua by Qari Yousuf . Moderator Naadir Soofi introduced our Regional Coordinator, Ishrat Rahman, who thanked guests in attendance and accepted the hospitality of the Helping Hand West Region Corona Office. He expressed his gratitude and that of the entire Helping Hand team. He drew the attention of the audience to the mission and vision of Helping Hand and how the organization is working tirelessly to eradicate poverty and to uplift and empower the needy people globally. He also talked about the programs of Helping Hand and the current relief efforts being made by the organization though the generous support of donors. The programs which have been really helpful this year included the Skills Development Centers for Women in Pakistan, Jordan and Africa and Education support for students, orphans as well as rebuilding of schools in Pakistan, Africa, Jordan and Syria. The Ramadan Food Drive this year enabled us to ship many containers to help the Syrian and Palestinian refugees. Our Annual Global Zabiha, Qurbani, Udhibya program fed many needy people in 55 countries during this year. Most of the beneficiaries eat meat only once a year when HHRD distributes the meat which our generous donors order for them.
We had wonderful speakers at the event. First we had Dr Muzammil Siddiqi who has been a supporter of Helping Hand since our first office was opened in 2009 in Southern California. His speech was very inspiring and reminded us that we have to help all the needy people wherever they are. He gave examples about the rewards and blessings of helping others in need.
The next speaker was Sh. Hasan Elwan who enlightened the gathering on the importance of helping others and avoiding greed, earning Halal and spending in the path of Allah. He emphasized that money spent charitably in helping others is returned completely in this world and in the hereafter.
We were then inspired by Imam Taha Hassane who made many good recommendations to increase the blessings and rewards we receive from Allah for our charitable work and donations. He emphasized the need for supporting the global struggle of the needy and also victims of natural disasters.
Another exciting and enjoyable feature of the evening was the auction of actual Shop N Help merchandise that originates from the Helping Hand Skills Development centers in Pakistan. The important educational work of the 26 skills development centers in far flung areas in Pakistan is to provide women valuable skills that they would not normally get a chance to receive. The education gives them a chance to gain financial independence to support their children. Most of these women have lost their men folk. They are transformed into very productive and self-sufficient members of their community.