The following is an excerpt from an article posted in the kptv.com in September 2019:
“PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) – Dozens of local nonprofits came together in downtown Portland on Sunday in support of people struggling with homelessness.
California-based Islamic Relief USA organized Sunday’s “Day of Dignity” event where over a dozen services were offered to the homeless population.
Many of the young volunteers FOX 12 spoke with say they are happy to be spending their Sunday helping others.
The ongoing effort to combat homelessness in Portland continued Sunday.
“Connecting them to services is the only thing that’s going to get them off the streets. If they have an addiction problem, they need addiction treatment. If they have a mental health issue, they need a mental health provider. We can’t just wish the homeless crisis away, it’s got to be done through the dog work of connecting people to whatever services they need to get off and stay off the streets,” said Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler.
Volunteers coordinated more than just a warm meal or a job fair, they provided multiple basic services, in a one-stop-shop.
“Backpacks, hygiene kits, school supplies, things like that. We have dental out here, they get their haircuts, they have doctors out here,” said volunteer Sheila Rasheed.
Folks could get in line and see volunteer chiropractors, dentists, eye care, even get a haircut. And in-between them all was a contingent of young faces, offering supplies.
Volunteer Taha Ebeid said, “My parents didn’t force me on this. They asked me if I wanted to come. I’m happy that I came with my own choice and I’m happy that everyone that walks by, they’re like, ‘Oh, thank you so much for your help’ it just makes me feel so good.”
“I would probably be watching Netflix right now or hanging out with friends, but I would rather much be doing this than doing that,” said a young volunteer.
A friend next to her added, “We have any day to hang out or to watch Netflix as much as we want. There’s only like certain days we can come out and help and give our time, and it feels like we’re doing something for the world.”
The young volunteers were led by an equally young organizer out of California. Susan Ahmed is only 23, but she’s already traveling around the country with Islamic Relief USA to cities like Atlanta, Dallas and Portland, working to organize local efforts that alleviate poverty wherever she can.
“What I’ve really learned is that you know, it doesn’t really matter where they come from. It’s that they’re facing something that’s very, very difficult,” Ahmed said.’I mean, I’m just trying my best, you know? I’m part of an organization that’s really given me the opportunity to go see different communities and meet different people.'”
Read the full post on kptv.com