(JOPLIN, MO, 6/13/11) — While visiting tornado hit Joplin, Dr. Zahid Bukhari made an appeal to the American Muslim community to help fellow citizens in need by supporting ICNA Relief.
Speaking to volunteers at an appreciation luncheon at the Islamic Society of Joplin, Dr. Bukhari thanked them for their work and highlighted the progress made in recent weeks. Dr. Mohsin Ansari, Chairman of ICNA Relief further thanked the Muslim community and presented ICNA Relief’s work in tornado stricken areas including Alabama, Missouri and North Carolina. Members of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the American Red Cross, AmeriCorps and Catholic Charities were also present, sharing their expertise in disaster management and recognizing the community for its efforts.
On May 22nd a tornado struck the town of Joplin, MO, leaving over 150 dead and thousands homeless or displaced. In the weeks since the tornado, ICNA Relief volunteers have united together to bring much needed food and supplies to the resident of Joplin. Muslims from across the country and within the local community are helping residents sort through the wreckage and salvage what little is left of their homes and lives.
ICNA Relief is the social services branch of the Islamic Circle of North America; along with disaster relief the organization offers women’s housing, hunger prevention, family counseling, medical aid, emergency financial support and funeral and burial assistance. ICNA Relief has been the key organization in providing basic necessities to tornado victims in Joplin, as well as Alabama, North Carolina and most recently Massachusetts.
The organization has continued to work in Joplin, recruiting volunteers from the local community and building relationships with the affected residents. ICNA Relief has always maintained a hands-on approach to relief work, and believes in empowering disaster victims through its support. The social services group has been instrumental in mobilizing the Muslim community in Joplin, providing five local Islamic centers with support and disaster relief training and encouraging them to help neighbors and friends cope with loss as they all work to restructure their lives.
The Joplin community, along with those in Massachusetts, Alabama and North Carolina expressed their gratitude to the volunteers who have come to their aid through ICNA Relief. “These volunteers have been with us on the ground… they haven’t asked for anything; they’ve only given,” said one tornado victim. “They were here when we needed them most.”