“As America honored veterans for their service Saturday, members of the Muslim community gathered in Seattle for a “Day of Dignity” by offering services for homeless people — with a special emphasis on those who have served.
The services were there for anyone who needed them but, because it’s Veterans Day, they wanted to give back to our military heroes, even in a small way.
Volunteers like Omar Abdul Alim tried to make sure homeless veterans got priority at the event.
“It’s very disheartening. It’s very sad to see that these are people who served their country and that they’re in the condition that they are in,” Alim said.
They focused on meeting several needs — haircuts, medical checks, dental care, clothes, school supplies and even some specialty medical services.
“Here’s a veteran who gave his service to his country but now he’s homeless. That hits hard because I’m a veteran myself,” Alim said.
Bryan Thomas got acupuncture to help with arthritis in his knee and was in line for dental care.
“Everything they gave out here today, we needed it,” Thomas said.
Supplies like long underwear and ponchos take the sting out of a winter that’s rapidly moving in.
“Just because you’re homeless or displaced doesn’t mean you have to look smell or be like that,” Thomas said.
The day was about gratitude, and it seemed to go both ways.
Volunteers hoped the event would help them dispel stereotypes about members of the Muslim community and leave everyone who came through with something else.
“We restored some hope,” Alim said.“We couldn’t provide everything but we provided something to fill that gap that void that they were missing.”
Islamic Relief USA and multiple other donors contributed to the day’s event. ”
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