By Hira, Boulder, Colorado
This summer the Colorado Muslim Community (CMC) and the Islamic Center of Boulder (ICB) partnered with ICNA Relief in its annual Back-2-School Giveaway, a project created to meet the needs of needy families in our communities. Held during the Eid carnival, it was the first such event at ICB.
In these difficult times, many families are under financial pressure. Some have lost jobs, others find it difficult to support their families, and as a result cannot pay for school supplies. The act of giving to the needy and being a good neighbor is integral to the Islamic faith. To help the community to the best of our abilities, with the Giveaway Project, ICB hopes to help struggling families provide for their children and inspire the Muslim community to partake in this fundamental teaching of Islam.
Allah (swt) says in the Qur’an, “Worship God and join none with Him in worship, and do good to parents, kinsfolk, orphans, the poor, the neighbor who is near of kin, and the neighbor who is a stranger.” (4:36)
Volunteers came from Denver and Boulder. They set up tables and brought refreshments along with school supplies.
The children were particularly ecstatic as they were offered cookies, and of course, given their own new backpacks along with notebooks, pencils, erasers, and other trinkets. Soon there was a long line of children with their parents. Over 150 children got the supplies until they ran out.
While the Giveaway Project helped 5,000 needy children in New York and New Jersey last year, this year the project’s goal was to help nearly 15,000 children across 13 states and over 25 locations including New York City, Chicago, Houston, Dallas, Denver and Los Angeles. Despite the growth of poverty and need, Americans can join together to help struggling families overcome these hurdles. The Back-2-School website states a proverb “Let not there be a child without the tools for a good education”.
Today marks the 20th anniversary of the tragic events of September 11, 2001. It serves as both a reminder of one of the most traumatizing occurrences to unfold on American soil and as a testimony to the resilience of every community living here in America.