Aug. 20, 2011, Delaware
The Islamic Society of Delaware Saturday joined Muslim groups across the country in giving out backpacks “to help the community in this hard economy,” spokesman Ali Khan said.
More than 300 supply-loaded packs were given first-come, first-served while the quickly dwindling supply lasted at the society center at 28 Salem Church Road, Ogletown.
Although purchased, filled with supplies and distributed by members of the Islamic Society, the packs held no books or literature about the Muslim religion, nor did the giveaway have any faith-based message to those in need.
Khan, the society’s former director who now heads its funeral and sympathy committee, said that part was intentional.
“Parents can sign up for more information about the Islamic Society of Delaware or visit our website,” he said. But the backpack giveaway was not intended as outreach for the faith, but rather was a no-strings-attached help for recession-pressed families struggling to stretch their budgets as back-to-school time approaches.
“They are for anybody,” Khan said before the giveaway began.
Saturday’s distribution intentionally was promoted as being a no-questions-asked, non-religion-oriented offer, Khan said, specifically to encourage financially pinched parents of any income level to bring their children for free backpacks and supplies.
Spokesman Umber Siddiqi said the nationwide “Back 2 School Giveaway” is coordinated by the Islamic Circle of North America Relief USA, a nonprofit humanitarian organization based in New York.
The project began last year, distributing about 5,000 backpacks with school supplies in New York and New Jersey, Siddiqi said. This year’s goal is to distribute more than 15,000 backpacks before the end of this month, he said.
This year, Delaware is joining 18 other states in the effort, said Khan, who also serves as the state’s president of the Islamic Circle of North America.
Article Courtesy: DelawareOnline.com