This past Saturday morning, bright and early at 8:30, a group of volunteers arrived at the OC Food Bank in Garden Grove, California to create food boxes for distribution.
The volunteer project is one of many planned for the year by the southern California chapter of the Islamic Circle of North America, which launched its community service initiative last month. For its first venture, it joined Habitat for Humanity in the creation of affordable housing in the city of Cypress.
Volunteers from the Islamic Society of Orange County were present at the food bank as well, bringing the total volunteer count to 150 individuals.
“It was a family oriented service project,” said LaTanya Maassarani, the programs coordinator for the chapter. Parents, young children, high school students – every age group was present, she said.
The volunteers organized themselves in an assembly line, with the individuals at the start making boxes, and those at the end sealing the packages and preparing them for distribution. In between, individuals packed the boxes with various canned food as provided by the food bank.
“There was a distinct spirit of volunteerism and teamwork present,” said Maassarani. “It was beautiful to witness.”
This is the second successful project ICNA southern California has organized and it hopes to make it a permanent monthly commitment. In order to have a greater impact, it would like to further expand its volunteer base and introduce itself to a wider audience.
To achieve this goal, ICNA plans to set up a booth October 18th, at the Eid Carnival at Cal State University Long Beach.
“We hope to instill knowledge of Islam and encourage our community to get involved in its own development,” said Maassarani.
Sign-up here to volunteer for various exciting opportunities: http://www.icna.org/volunteer