“Yasmin Fakhro sits behind a wall of shoes in plastic boxes with her 68-year-old father-in-law, Mohamad Khoja, and her two small children.
Six months ago, the family of Syrian refugees fled their home through Turkey and settled in Orlando. Saturday was their first opportunity to give back and volunteer at the Coalition for the Homeless for the annual Day of Dignity.
The event, sponsored by the Arab American Community Center of Florida and Islamic Relief USA, draws hundreds of Orlando’s low-income residents, many of them homeless, to receive donated clothing, free medical and employment consultations, hygiene products, books and school kits.
“This is the time to volunteer. We don’t want to wait for another [Hurricane] Irma to come to get together,” said Tarik Kabbaj, an AACC board member.
This year, 20 cities across the country participated in the event, said Naeem Muhammad, the U.S. programs manager for Islamic Relief USA.
He said the event is as important for immigrants and people in the Arab-American community who volunteer because it connects them to their own neighborhoods. ”
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