The Christian Century: "In the South, a new helping hand: Muslim disaster relief teams" - Islamic Relief USA

The following is an excerpt from an article posted in The Christian Century in Aug 2017: 

“PRINCEVILLE, N.C. (RNS) — Delores J. Porter and her husband had to abandon their one-story house in Princeville, North Carolina, after floodwaters rose nearly 10 feet in mid-October.

Passing by one day this summer, she was overjoyed to see people working at her house and stopped to peek in. When she gingerly stepped onto the exposed floor joists of her torn-out home, she found a troop of young Muslim volunteers in blue Islamic Relief USA” T-shirts installing support beams in the 90-degree heat.

“I will take a hug from everybody,” said Porter, 61, a former schoolteacher and administrator, and lifelong resident of Princeville. “I am a hugging person. And if you don’t mind my perspiration, I definitely don’t mind yours.”

After Harvey, one of the strongest storms to make landfall in United States, devastated the Gulf in late August, “Islamic Relief USA’s Disaster Response Team mobilized quickly, moving from helping survivors of Hurricane Matthew in North Carolina to working to bring aid to those now affected in Texas,” the group wrote on its website. Volunteers are working with the American Red Cross at shelters in Dallas for thousands of evacuees until it is safe to get into Houston.

“For a lot of people, this may have been the most traumatic experience they have been through,” said Hani Hamwi, Islamic Relief’s team manager, in a release. “Our volunteers are trained to help them.”

Only a week before in North Carolina, Mimi Hassanain of Livingston, New Jersey, an Islamic Relief employee, sanded drywall in one of the homes flooded when Hurricane Matthew bore down, submerging Princeville after the Tar River levee failed.

“It’s a great way to show other people that Muslims are friends and that we can work together,” Hassanain said.  ”



Read the full post on The Christian Century

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