Islamic Relief USA sponsored the community event featuring food, coats, blankets, school supplies, hygiene kits and haircuts free to the public.
“If people don’t have to buy a coat for their child, maybe they can put money toward paying for heat because ― in a month ― we’re going to be freezing in Rochester,” Omerhodzic said.
Health and resource agencies from the Rochester area set up booths inside Barakah Muslim Charities as a long line of families patiently waited outside for the event to begin.
Rawan Khunaifes and Khadra Albadhi used their Saturday to volunteer at the event. They believe their service is time well spent.
“We want to show this neighborhood that they are not forgotten,” Albadhi said. “There are people that care about them.”
Barakah hosts several service events throughout the year while running a food pantry Thursdays and Sundays that serves a range of people from refugees, to working families trying to make ends meet.
The work helps to fill gaps in the community, but the most significant issue is one the charity can’t solve.
“Housing,” Omerhodzic murmured. “It’s a huge problem. People are struggling to pay rent and utilities.”
Barakah Muslim Charities is hosting a turkey giveaway on Nov 19. Islamic Relief USA will provide 150 turkeys for Thanksgiving.
Alma Omerhodzic issues a call to action for that event and her organization’s future endeavors.
“Come get involved in the community. See how people live in this part of this city,” she said.”