Islamic Relief USA is asking for donations for “Be Cool For School,” a project started in the summer of 2009 by IR USA volunteer Chynna Wendell to help give Washington, D.C.-area students (and students in other states this year) the proper tools they need to succeed.

The project is a school supply drive that runs from mid-summer until a week before school starts. New school supplies are collected at various locations and then distributed to needy D.C.-area students in time for the first day of school.

Thanks to Islamic Relief USA’s support of the project, “Be Cool for School” has expanded to include IR USA chapters in Detroit, Chicago and New Jersey. Additionally, the Domestic Programs department at IR USA will be sponsoring Hendley Elementary School in Washington, D.C. by providing the school with much needed supplies.

Drop sites have been arranged at IR USA headquarters and other locations (see below), and the word has spread about project through the help of IR USA’s strong volunteer base.

Last year the project collected enough school supplies to fill several boxes, bags and even one suitcase. Half of these supplies went to the Alexandria Baptist Church, where they not only distributed school supplies, but gave free haircuts and manicures for the young girls.

Giving in Ramadan
Coincidentally, this project falls during Ramadan this year (as well as last year), which makes it even more special to us. The Holy Qu’ran tells us that seeking knowledge is a duty and that doing so is actually a form of prayer. And because giving to charity is a main component to Ramadan, this project is very fitting indeed. Giving during Ramadan is a gift unto us, so we urge you to give to this project.

What is needed:
Notebooks, pencils, pens, folders, notebooks, binders, crayons, markers, scissors, rulers, erasers, backpacks, calculators, glue, glue sticks, graphing paper, protractors and compasses, colored pencils, school uniforms, pencil boxes, pencil sharpeners, and more. We ask that all items be new.

Join our cause on Facebook and let your friends know how they too can give the gift of giving.

Collection Dates:

July 15 – August 20 2010

Drop Off Locations:

In Washington D.C. and Northern Virginia:

Ballston: 850 N Randolph St, Arlington, VA 22203; 24 hours a day 7 days a week (LEAVE AT THE FRONT DESK FOR APT. 406)

Washington D.C.: 1300 N St NW, Washington, DC 20009; 9:30 a.m.-10:00 p.m., Monday-Friday (LEAVE AT THE FRONT DESK FOR APT. 401)

Alexandria: Islamic Relief Headquarters; 3655 Wheeler Ave, Alexandria, VA 22304; 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. Monday-Friday

In Illinois:

Islamic Relief USA Midwest Office; 10101 S. Roberts Rd.,Palos Hills, IL 60465

In New Jersey:

409 Minnisink Rd, Totowa, NJ 07512

Nazia A. Hossain, National Volunteer Coordinator for Islamic Relief USA