Check out this amazing article from Br. Zeyad Masaarani, who works directly with Islamic Relief. I truly loved taking part in the volunteer efforts of Day of Diginity. The line was all the way around the block and buses were bringing people all the way until 2:30 that afternoon. Then the challenge of fasting really hit as we all broke down all the tents and boxed up the left over clothing that wasn't needed. There is no greater feeling than to give hot plates of food to needy people, while fasting during the holy month of Ramadan. Appreciate what you have, appreciate all your beautiful clothing, your large family iftars each night, and the beautiful home that keeps you sleeping cozy. We only saw a small part of the needy\homeless population in Dallas that day. It's a wake up call for those of us here in Dallas, to be aware of the needs of people in our own back yard.
I can't wait until next year's Day of Dignity! I'm going to start putting aside clothing and shoes already!
Tuesday, August 31, 2010
Starting from 8 a.m., scores of volunteers began rushing around, readying hot plates, carefully arranging distribution stations, and laying out heaps of clothing in hopes of helping the less fortunate in their neighborhood.
With Ramadan in full swing, many of the volunteers were observing the daylong Ramadan fast and the scorching heat was audibly parching their throats.
It was Islamic Relief USA's Day of Dignity – a day characterized by love, compassion and sacrifice.
For people in need, the warm meals, fresh fruit, socks, shirts, caps, hygiene kits, and all the other items available for distribution at the Day of Dignity are a beacon of hope. One less worry for mind plagued with the most basic of stress: "Will I survive another day?"
"Every day is a challenge," 45-year-old Glenn Black told me as he munched on some rice and beef provided at the event. He balanced an Islamic Relief tote bag full of clothes between his knees. "I need these clothes because it's getting close to wintertime," he said. His skin was thick and calloused, probably from sleeping in the street.
Another beneficiary told me just how much events like the Day of Dignity impact his community. "It helps out the neighborhood a lot," Alfred Burney told me, “Especially the kids.”
The 54-year-old was impressed that Muslims were spearheading the cause. “I’m surprised that it’s Islamic Relief,” he said.
Dennye Mills, a 55-year-old homeless widow, was there for the fresh fruit because it was easier to eat than the food she was used to receiving at food banks. "God bless Islamic Relief," she said between bites.
"The need here is huge," said Islamic Relief USA’s Domestic Programs Coordinator, Karim Amin. Amin is a strong supporter of helping fellow Americans in need. "Islamic Relief USAorganizes the Day of Dignity because you must help your neighbors first before you help people afar," he said.
To learn more or to donate to Day of Dignity, click here.
-- Zeyad Maasarani